The Lions have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t some productive players in the offensive backfield.
A sixth-round pick (199th overall) out of Notre Dame in 2013, Riddick became a passing game weapon for the Lions. He had at least 53 catches in four straight seasons (2015-2018), finishing no lower than fifth on the team in catches in any of those campaigns. He also led the team in rushing in 2016.
A third-round pick out of UCF in 2008, Smith’s career was shortened by injury. But he had nearly 1,000 yards on the ground (976) with eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2008, followed by over 700 yards in his second year. Other than Bush in 2013, he is the only Lions running back to top 900 rushing yards in a season since….2004 (Kevin Jones).
Much of Swift’s first two NFL seasons have fallen short of expectations, do to lack of ideal usage and injuries. But he topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in what amounted to 10 games of heavy action last season, and there’s plenty of optimism for a full-on breakout in 2022.
Swift will suffer from comparison to Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who was taken six picks after him in the second round of the 2020 draft. But he’s got real star potential himself, and that puts him on this list.