Once upon a time, drafting a running back high in the draft was commonplace in the NFL. It was expected, and most of the time—necessary. For instance, the most celebrated player in Detroit Lions history, Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, was drafted third overall in the 1989 NFL Draft. And from the moment he stepped foot inside the old Pontiac Silverdome, Sanders was the centerpiece of the Lions offense. For nine years, football in Detroit revolved around number 20.
However, as we all know by now, the days of a feature back are long gone. Teams are utilizing up to three or four players to make up their backfields, and because of the devaluing of the position in general—the days of using a top-10 draft pick on a back are largely long gone.
With that said, the Lions still have a long-term need at the position. And based on what general manager Brad Holmes had to say during his most recent media availability, it certainly seems as if Holmes is open to the possibility of using a higher pick on a talented ball-carrier.
The name that everyone is likely going to jump to is University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Many in the draft community are tabbing Robinson as the best prospect at the position since Saquon Barkley came out of Penn State, and it has become trendy for mock drafts to have Robinson going to the Lions at pick 18.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
When should the Lions draft a RB in the 2023 NFL Draft?
My answer: This took longer for me to think about than I anticipated, but I would still prefer if Holmes used one of his day two picks on a running back, rather than either of the first-round selections.
Still, if Robinson ends up being the pick at 18, I won’t be overly bothered. Holmes has earned my trust at this point, and if he thinks Robinson is worth the pick, then I will believe him until proven otherwise.
What about you? When do you think the Lions should draft a running back? Let us know in the comments.
When should the Lions draft a running back?
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