The Detroit Lions haven’t had a consistent running back since Barry Sanders was dazzling fans back at the Pontic Silverdome.
While the Lions have drafted some great college runners, they just haven’t panned out at the next level.
The latest being former Auburn star Kerryon Johnson. Johnson has shown moments of greatness, but, he has been injury-prone the past two seasons.
That being said, is the Lions team finally ready to make a run at a free-agent running back this offseason?
Lions ready to upgrade at running back?
Can you imagine what the Lions offense could do with a healthy Matt Stafford and an actual running game?
The Lions have had a few okay runners during Stafford’s time in Motown, but to really open up the passing game a team needs to be able to run the ball.
The emergence of Bo Scarbrough in 2019 was a pleasant surprise for the Lions, but with Kerryon Johnson’s injuries becoming more frequent, Detroit could be in the market for an upgrade to go along with Scarbrough this fall.
Kenyan Drake, LeSean McCoy on Lions radar?
Quite a few running backs will be on the open market when the NFL free agency opens on March 18.
The Lions are rumored to have interest in a couple of them.
Kenyan Drake is an obvious one to watch for the Lions since they tried to get him last year.
But my sleeper pick is LeSean McCoy. Matt Patricia has faced him a ton and has a lot of respect for what he can offer as a playmaker. https://t.co/wY2w2qRaTK
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) March 5, 2020
The Athletic’s Chri Burke tweeted on Thursday that he believes the Detroit Lions will make a run at Kenyan Drake this offseason.
In 2019, Drake rushed for 817 yards and scored eight touchdowns. He also had a nice average per carry at 4.8 yards.
What also makes the 26-year old former Alabama star more attractive as an offensive weapon is that he loves to catch the ball out of the backfield as well.
Drake had 50 receptions for 345 yards to go along with his near 900 rushing yards a year ago. After spending his first 3-plus season in Miami, the Dolphins traded Drake to the Arizona Cardinals last October.
Burke also indicated that he believes head coach Matt Patricia could have an interest in LeSean McCoy.
“Matt Patricia has faced him a ton and has a lot of respect for what he can offer as a playmaker,” Burke said.
It will be interesting to see if the Lions do make an offer to any of the free-agent running backs later this month.
The combo of Scarbrough and Johnson sounds nice, but if Johnson suffers yet another injury in 2020, the Lions have to begin wondering which way to go with him in the future.
Putting that into perspective, don’t be surprised if the Lions pursue Kenyan Drake this offseason.