The Lions Could Look To Rejuvenate Rushing Attack By Drafting A Stud Running Back.
In case you haven’t heard, the Detroit Lions have not had a 100-yard rusher in a game since the Civil War, or something like that. The Lions rank dead last in rushing this season which is not ideal, to say the least.
While the problem is not entirely on the running backs, adding a talented young rusher certainly would be a step in the right direction.
2018 Draft Class- Running Back
The three backs who were featured in part one of this article are all still considered to be among the best prospects at the position. They are not the only intriguing running backs, however.
Three more running backs that could potentially help Detroit’s stagnant rushing attack are Stanford’s Bryce Love, Alabama’s Damien Harris, and San Diego State’s Rashad Penny.
Bryce Love – Stanford
Bryce Love had huge shoes to fill as the replacement for superstar all-rounder Christian McCaffrey. Love did just fine. While Love didn’t do much as a receiver, the junior did plenty of damage on the ground. This season he posted 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns on 263 attempts.
Love does a lot of things well, but his top asset is elite speed. If he gets past the defense he isn’t getting caught. He is also a patient runner through the hole, often waiting for things to open up before bursting through. Also, he can change direction on a dime and has the vision to find cut-back lanes.
Something that might concern teams is that Love is only listed at 5’10” and 196 lbs. He plays bigger than that, however. While he will never be confused for Adrian Peterson or Jerome Bettis he is a tough runner. Arm tackles usually don’t bring him down and he ends up gaining extra yards on most plays.
Obviously, because of his smaller frame, there will be questions about whether he will be able to stay healthy in the NFL, which could end up hurting his stock a bit.
Damien Harris- Alabama
Harris is not talked about as much as he probably deserves to be, this is in part because of the fact that he has had to split carries his entire career. This season Harris was by far the Crimson Tide’s most effective rusher, taking 110 carries for 906 yards and 11 scores.
Another reason that Harris is flying under the radar is that he isn’t really a flashy player. Listed at 5’11” and 214 lbs., Harris is a tough guy to bring down. He has great balance and often bounces off of tacklers. During the offseason, he lost weight and that has helped him in the speed and quickness department this season.
Probably the biggest concern with Harris is the fact that he plays for Alabama. He benefits from running behind one of the best offensive lines in college football that often destroys opposing defensive lineman, which makes things pretty easy for Harris at times.
Rashaad Penny- San Diego State
Penny put up huge numbers this season, rushing for 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns on 289 attempts. He also caught 19 passes for 135 yards and two scores and returned a punt and two kicks for touchdowns.
In the open field, it is nearly impossible for defenders to bring down Penny. He can make cuts without losing speed, has outstanding acceleration and top-notch speed.
The senior running back also has the ability to be a dangerous receiver. He runs good routes and has solid hands. Another thing that helps him is his ability to help his team as a return man.
A weakness in Penny’s game is that he doesn’t run with much power. He is listed at 5’11” and 220 lbs. so he isn’t a small running back. Penny has an upright rushing style and if he lowered his pad level he would probably be able to be a more powerful back.