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Theo Riddick scouting report

A look at Detroit Lions sixth-round pick Theo Riddick and how he fits into the team's plans in 2013.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

To wrap up the 2013 NFL Draft, we will take an in-depth look at each Detroit Lions pick. Next up is Theo Riddick.

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.

Random fact

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



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.

Previous scouting reports:

DE Ezekiel Ansah (BYU)

CB Darius Slay (Mississippi State)

OG Larry Warford (Kentucky)

DE Devin Taylor (South Carolina)

P Sam Martin (Appalachian State)

WR Corey Fuller (Virginia Tech)

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