RB Theo Riddick (Notre Dame) - Round 6, Pick No. 199
Just like their first sixth-round pick (WR Corey Fuller), the Detroit Lions went with an offensive skill player with their second sixth-rounder. With this pick, they drafted Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick, who also played some wide receiver in college and returned kicks as well.
In 2009, as a freshman at Notre Dame, Riddick returned 37 kicks for 849 yards (average of about 23 yards per return). His longest return was 38 yards.
What the experts are saying
Riddick made some plays as an inside receiver in his sophomore (40 catches, 414 yards, 3 TD) and junior (38-436, 3 TD) seasons, but the former all-state running back from New Jersey returned to his natural position for his senior year, while also seeing snaps at receiver when Cierre Wood was in. Riddick's chess piece potential will likely earn him a draftable grade.
Theo Riddick is a classic "jack of all trades, master of none." While he shows a willingness to run inside he struggles to change speeds effectively and is too easily taken down by the initial tackler. He is a polished route runner for a RB and displays excellent hands, but he lacks the speed and burst to be a threat to take the top off the defense once out in space. When asked to pass block, he is quick to diagnose and attack his assignment with proper base and leverage, but he lacks the bulk and strength to consistently sustain his blocks.
Riddick played a hybrid running back/receiver role for Notre Dame. He is undersized but is a gifted athlete who is quicker than fast. Riddick brings a lot of versatility to the Lions' spread offense with his ability to create in space. The Lions have been trying to fix this position for a long time, and it looks as if free-agent acquisition Reggie Bush will give them versatility. But Riddick should be able to contribute in nickel packages as an outlet receiver, and it will be interesting to see if the coaches can figure out a way to have Riddick and Bush on the field at the same time.
2009: 29 carries, 160 yards, 6 catches, 43 yards
2010: 11 carries, 29 yards, 40 catches, 414 yards, 3 TD
2011: 14 carries, 63 yards, 38 catches, 436 yards, 3 TD
2012: 190 carries, 917 yards, 5 TD, 36 catches, 370 yards, 2 TD
- Riddick vs. Michigan State (2010)
- Riddick highlights
- Riddick highlights from his high school days
- Riddick interview at combine
- Riddick interview at Notre Dame pro day
- Riddick interview on Brian Kelly Radio Show
Outlook for 2013
Riddick has the potential to be a third-down back for the Lions, and he could also work his way onto the field as a slot receiver. Even if he doesn't initially contribute much on offense, Riddick could see time on the special teams cover units, and he should be one of the players in the mix to return kicks for the Lions.