The Detroit Lions may come out of the 2023 NFL Draft with a running back, and these five are realistic options.
At first glance, running back is not a great draft need for the Detroit Lions. Free agent signing David Montgomery is in place for at least two years, if not all three years of his deal, and there’s a chance he sticks around after that. D’Andre Swift is a capable No. 2 back, and Craig Reynolds proved serviceable when called upon to play a lot in 2021.
But Swift is entering the final year of his contract, and it’s possible he doesn’t make it through the season before being traded. Given the shelf life of NFL running backs, keeping the pipeline full makes sense.
A chunk of mock drafts like the idea of University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson to the Lions. In some ways it makes sense, as a bit of a luxury pick for Detroit to take a very good offense to an even higher level.
But realistically it feels like the Lions will go another direction with both of their first-round picks, which will take them out of the conversation to draft Robinson. Taking a running back is certainly on the table though.
However, during his pre-draft presser on Thursday, general manager Brad Holmes did not dismiss the idea of taking a running back early. Not that he’d reveal any draft plan publicly, which he tongue-in-cheekly said to open the session.
Moving the conversation passed Robinson, here are five more realistic running back options in the 2023 NFL Draft for the Lions.