Don’t fall asleep on the Detroit Lions most overlooked addition

Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images /
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Jason Huntley, New Mexico State (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jason Huntley, New Mexico State (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

An opportunity for exciting contributions

When Bob Quinn selected running back Jason Huntley from New Mexico State in the fifth round, I think every Lions fans stood up and said, ‘what’?

Between Kerryon, Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, and Swift who was selected in the second round, the Lions seemed pretty set in the backfield. Why on Earth did they need to double-down on another running back?

The reason for the pick was Matt Patricia’s favorite quality in a player; versatility.

Despite what Jamal Agnew has contributed as a return man for the Lions, it will be a surprise and disappointment if Huntley isn’t back to return kicks on opening day. Agnew may still keep the role as punt returner, but expect Huntley to be the focus of Matt Patricia’s kick return game.

Huntley is lightning in a bottle personified. He has super-speed, good moves, and an ability to make a play every time he touches the ball because speed kills.

Which is why he will get more time on offense than anyone suspects. Again, versatility is the keyword. Huntley should get some opportunities to carry the ball just because he’s a home run threat, but I suspect his biggest contributions on offense will come in the passing game.

Huntley catches the ball very well. He has the ability to give the Lions a Theo Riddick type of receiver out of the backfield. Only with better speed. But it doesn’t stop there. Huntley can also line in the slot as a receiver.

Getting Huntley the ball in space should be the goal of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell at least a couple of times a game. Again, this doesn’t mean that Huntley is taking Kerryon Johnson’s place in the rotation or D’Andre Swifts either. But he does have outstanding speed and the ability to make tacklers miss. Therefore it should be a no-brainer that Darrell Bevell will want to create a couple of opportunities every game to give Huntley a chance to break a big one.

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Jason Huntley isn’t going to wow fans with the number of touches he gets, but he should make the most of the opportunities that come his way. His ability to make a play as a return man, out of the backfield, or even as a receiver is why he shouldn’t be overlooked.

He may not be a star, but when he gets the ball in space there will times he will take away the breath of Lions fans. So while his opportunities may not be manifold, he should do enough to contribute and bring excitement to Ford Field. And no one should be overlooking him.