Detroit Lions draft themselves a gadget player in Jason Huntley

Jason Huntley, New Mexico State Aggies (Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images)
Jason Huntley, New Mexico State Aggies (Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images) /

With their second pick in the fifth round, the Detroit Lions selected their second running back in this draft in New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley.

The Detroit Lions landed themselves a potential starter at running back in Georgia’s D’Andre Swift in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday. Combined with third-year back Kerryon Johnson, it doesn’t appear there will be many extra snaps to divvy up for anyone else in the backfield.

The Lions’ current depth chart at running back also includes Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, Wes Hills, and Tra Carson. But with Detroit’s second pick in the fifth round, the running back room in the Motor City got even more crowded.

With the 172nd overall selection, the Lions drafted New Mexico State running back Jason Huntley. The diminutive Huntley measures just 5-foot-9, 193-pounds. And that narrow frame comes with some durability concerns. But the quicker than fast all-purpose gadget back is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and could potentially line up in the slot for Detroit.

Huntley could earn a spot on the Lions’ final-53 as a special teams returner as a rookie. He had five kick returns for touchdowns during his college career, three of those scores coming in 2018 alone.

As a senior last season, Huntley posted 1,090 rushing yards and nine scores while averaging an impressive 7.1 yards per carry in 12 games. He also brought in 40 receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

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By selecting two running backs in the draft, the Detroit Lions clearly believed their offensive backfield needed a few upgrades. Yet, Jason Huntley should make his early bones on special teams as a returner. But he also has a chance to develop into the Motor City’s version of Dexter McCluster and become a gadget player that second-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell can move all over the field.