« M E N U »
 » Showcase Index
TSX Premium Products
 PRODUCT SAMPLES
« NFL »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Player News Wire
 » NFL GameScout
 » NFL Game Previews
 » Around The League
 » NFL Column
 
« NFL Draft »
 » Player Rankings
 » NFL Draft Bios
 » NFL Draft Columns
 
« NCAA Football »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Game Scout
 » Player News Wire
 » Player News by Pos
 
« MLB »
 » Game Stories
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Player News Wire
 » MLB Column
 
« NBA »
 » Team Reports
 » Player News Wire
 » NBA Column
 
« NHL »
 » Team Reports
 » Player News Wire
 » NHL Column
 
« NCAA Basketball »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » March Madness
 
« NASCAR »
 » Series Reports
 » Driver Notes
 
« Golf »
 » Insider Report
 » Tour Rankings
 
 
« Multisport »
 »This Week in History
Detroit Lions
INSIDE SLANT

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  Lions 2018 draft: Goal is to upgrade run game

Bob Quinn was "bothered" by the Detroit Lions' inability to run the football in short-yardage or most any other situation last season, and the team's third-year general manager set out to fix that in the draft.

The Lions used their first two picks and four of their six selections on upgrades for the running game.

They passed on defensive help to draft Arkansas center Frank Ragnow in the first round, traded up to get Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson in Round 2, nabbed backup tackle Tyrell Crosby in Round 5, and closed the draft with perhaps their most surprising pick, fullback Nick Bawden a year after removing the position from their offense.

"Having balance on offense is important, and I think as you guys know better than anybody I don't think we've been the most balanced offense here the last few years," Quinn said. "So I think that was a priority in the offseason to improve the running game. I think I said that here in January. So that was something we set out in free agency, in the draft, we're going to continue to look at every avenue to improve that. And I think we've done that the last couple days."

The Lions return all five running backs from the NFL's worst rushing offense, but signed LeGarrette Blount in free agency and paired him with Johnson in the draft.

The SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2017, Johnson adds what Quinn called "a very unique" running style to a backfield that also includes Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick.

"He's a very patient runner initially, but when he sees the hole he's got great acceleration and he really finishes runs very well," Quinn said. "He's a little bit I'd say of an upright runner initially, but when it's time to get his pads down, he gets his pads down and gets yards after contact and finishes runs very well. So that combined with good speed, good vision, slashing style would be something that we've talked about that could kind of categorize his running style as well."

As big a lift as Johnson should provide an offense that averaged just 3.4 yards per carry last season, the Lions' biggest addition to the ground game was Ragnow, a mauling blocker who projects to start at either center or left guard this fall.

Ragnow missed half of his senior season at Arkansas with an ankle injury, but the Lions thought highly enough of him in their draft evaluations that they ceased contact with him after the Combine so as not to tip their hand.

Quinn said the Lions had "multiple offers" on the table to trade down at pick No. 20, but didn't want to miss out on Ragnow.

"I think it starts in the trenches. I think it starts up front," he said. "We want to build through the middle of our team, through the offensive line, defensive line and through the middle, and that's kind of what we believe in. I think going through the evaluation process, there was a number of players on the board that we liked. We just thought at the end of the day, Frank was the best player at that time. The guy that can help us the most, the quickest, and real excited about the pick."


 NFL Team, Player News
AFC EAST
NFC EAST
Bills  Team   Player Cowboys  Team   Player
Dolphins  Team  Player Giants  Team  Player
Patriots  Team  Player Eagles  Team  Player
Jets  Team  Player Redskins  Team  Player
AFC NORTH
NFC NORTH
Ravens  Team  Player Bears  Team  Player
Bengals  Team  Player Lions  Team  Player
Browns  Team  Player Packers  Team  Player
Steelers  Team  Player Vikings  Team  Player
AFC SOUTH
NFC SOUTH
Texans  Team  Player Falcons  Team  Player
Colts  Team  Player Panthers  Team  Player
Jaguars  Team  Player Saints  Team  Player
Titans  Team  Player Bucs  Team  Player
AFC WEST
NFC WEST
Broncos  Team  Player Cardinals  Team  Player
Chiefs  Team  Player Rams  Team  Player
Raiders  Team  Player 49ers  Team  Player
Chargers  Team  Player Seahawks  Team  Player