On Sunday, the Detroit Lions made a somewhat surprising move. In the only waiver claim they were awarded over the weekend, Detroit decided to bolster their running back room by adding former Seahawk J.D. McKissic to their roster. Running back didn’t seem to be a major need for this team, considering they added C.J. Anderson in free agency and drafted Ty Johnson in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
But one voice among the Lions coaching staff likely had a lot of influence in bringing McKissic to Detroit. Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had a year of experience with McKissic when he was in Seattle, and the running back had his best season: 46 carries, 187 yards; 34 catches, 266 yards.
So why did the Lions bring in McKissic and what does he bring to the table in Detroit? Two things: versatility and playmaking abilities.
“He’s a versatile guy,” Bevell told Pride of Detroit. “He can play a lot of different roles for you. So I think that was the first thing that was exciting about him. He’s a guy that you want to get the ball into his hands, because he’s a nice playmaker that way. So we’ll put him in the mix with a really good room and see how it shakes out.”
In Seattle, the Seahawks often lined up McKissic as an outside receiver or in the slot, forcing some to wonder if he’s really more of a receiver. And while Bevell said he sees McKissic more as a running back, he did admit the Lions could use him as a receiver.
“You can use him in different areas. You can use him as a receiver, you can use him as a running back,” Bevell said.
The Lions already have a few versatile backs in Kerryon Johnson and Ty Johnson, both of whom have shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. So it will be interesting to see how much of an impact McKissic will have right away.