One of the motto’s from Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s is “I’m always looking to upgrade.” He’s been known to constantly shuffle the bottom of the roster throughout training camp and into the regular season.
In fact, when asked about the Lions’ current set of running backs, here’s what Quinn had to say:
“Listen, I’m always looking to upgrade. That’s what my job is, I think the players understand that. I think the number of new players that we brought in this year and the number of guys we tried out and worked out, I think it was eye-opening to a lot of people. My eyes are always open. If we can get somebody better, then great. But do I believe in Ameer and Theo and Zach (Zenner) and Dwayne Washington and Mike James? I do.”
So it should come as little surprise that on Tuesday, the Lions are reportedly working out three new running backs: David Cobb, Bronson Hill and Josh Robinson. This was first reported by DraftDiamonds.com and confirmed later by the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett.
Of the three backs, Cobb has the most experience. In 2015, he played seven games with the Titans and ran for just 146 yards on 52 carries (2.8 YPC). Since then, Cobb has jumped around on a few practice squads and has yet to see the field since his time in Tennessee.
Hill, a local guy out of Eastern Michigan, has already been quite the journeyman since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2015. He has spent time on six different rosters, but saw the field for the first time last season with the Jaguars. He only received two carries for 11 yards in three game appearances.
Finally, there’s Robinson, a 2015 sixth-round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts. Robinson saw limited playing time in his career, picking up 17 carries, but was ultimately waived by the Colts before the end of the year.
There’s a common theme among all three of these backs: their running styles. All three of these backs are of the power back variety. Cobb (5-foot-11, 229), Hill (5-foot-10, 215) and Robinson (5-foot-8, 221) are all short, but stocky backs that could theoretically be useful in red zone or short-yardage situations.
The Lions’ need for a power back has been well-documented all offseason. They added Matt Asiata this offseason for that reason and also reportedly inquired about Rashad Jennings.
But just because the Lions are working out these backs doesn’t necessarily mean that Detroit is unhappy with Asiata, Zach Zenner or Dwayne Washington. Tryouts are a regular part of the Lions’ weekly schedule in an effort to see what’s out there as the team looks to improve. As Quinn said back in January, “My eyes are always open.”