The Detroit Lions are returning to D’Andre Swift, but there are decisions that need to be made outside of him for the runner-up position in the off-season.
As the Detroit front office evaluates the value of Jamal Williams, Jermar Jefferson, Craig Reynolds and Godwin Igwebik, it will have a great way to shape how they approach the backfire position in the NFL Draft.
If those backs don’t return, the Lions will have to target other options on the position.
Here are 10 perspectives of backfield that the Lions will pay attention to in the future Scout Factory.
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan I.
Michigan has won gold on the transfer portal, adding Walker to the 2021 season. All he did was become a contender for Heisman and help the team achieve a better record since reaching the 2015 college football playoffs.
Walker has a tear-off speed, and is both fast and tight on the line of scrimmage, holding a splash that makes it slippery among line and lineback defenses.
With Swift, Leo doesn’t need to go for a run back, but it will still be interesting to see how the prospects in the state show up among his peers.
BRYSH HALL, Iowa
Hall will fight Walker for the best position in Indianapolis. He’s three times down, which has done a lot of things while playing for Matt Campbell in Iowa.
Hall’s only downside is how much he did in college, with more than 800 touches to his name while working at Cyclones.
He is big, physical and fast, and will be attractive to teams. It will be difficult for the general manager to decide between him and Walker.
ISAIA SPILLER, Texas A&M
Spiller is another contender for the top score for the back-to-back position heading to the combine. His skill set starts with his balance and ability to fight back quickly, move away from defenders quickly.
He didn’t have a great 2021 season, and from time to time he had trouble blocking the pass. Despite this, many consider him one of the best available and see in him a person who can quickly make an impact. A good combine would strengthen his right to RB1 status.
James Cook, Georgia
Dalwin Cook’s brother from Minnesota, James Cook, is a player who could become a solid second option at the back of the team. He holds the ball well in his hands and has demonstrated the ability to be a solid pass catcher that is attractive.
The Lions have to make decisions about the many backups behind Swift, so Cook could easily be considered in the equation, thanks to his ability to double the threat. The teen is projected as a person who can stay in the league, so he is an interesting score for teams like Detroit who may be looking for a backup.
DEMEON Pierce, Florida
Pierce is a smaller back, 5 feet 10 feet tall. However, that means he has a low center of gravity and he is able to move quickly across the line of scramble. He doesn’t have as much hype as in some other prospects, but he clearly has talent.
Pierce is another qualified appeal that can come out and catch. This is probably what the Lions need in reserve, as he can be productive if and when Swift misses time. A solid show in Indianapolis could quickly lift him up on the call boards.
KIREN WILLIAMS, Notre Dame
Williams is a player who is ready for good performances in Indianapolis. He was very fast and could run very well on the combine.
However, Lance Tierline of NFL.com calls it “faster than explosive”. So, there are concerns about how this skill will be transmitted.
Williams can catch passes, and he relied heavily on the Notre Dame attack. As a mid-round prospect, there’s plenty to enjoy in Fighting Irish Bells Back.
Pierre STRONG, North Dakota
A prospect for a small school, Strong profiles as a person who can make a team very happy in the last rounds. In college he made 10 touchdowns over 50 yards, so his ability to play big is undeniable.
There is a strong need for improvement in the quality of the pass and receiver locks, as production in both areas has failed. This will hinder his values, but he is another player who can start relaxing some of the area-related ones by spending a good week on the combine.
JERAM FORD, Cincinnati
Ford’s university defender, Desmond Reeder, has received a lot of attention, which has attracted historical Bearcats games over the past two seasons.
However, Ford himself worked well during this time. However, at the college level he carried the ball only 319 times, which means the potential could be untapped.
He’s an attractive late-round option for a team like the Lions, so watching him on the combine will be fun. The way he will work in the shuttle for short distances and other exercises to change direction will determine his general condition moving towards checkers.
Tyler Buddy, Missouri
A short, fast runner, Buddy spent a phenomenal 2021 season in Missouri. He was one of the best rushers in the country, but he was not noticed because of the unpleasant season of the “Tigers”. He has good eyesight, which makes him dangerous despite his unsightly height.
Badie is another option that could grab Detroit’s attention in subsequent rounds. It could well be overlooked when the draft is moving. Thus, it may be available if the Lions choose in the final rounds and already meet more pressing needs.
D’VONTE PRICE, Florida International
Price has done everything for the Panthers ’tough program over the past couple of seasons. During his time in college he ran more than 2,000 yards and also contributed as a catcher. There is optimism about his talent as he did not have a large cast in college.
He is similar to Jefferson, who slipped into the seventh round of last year’s draft before the Lions captured him. Price could have been more influential than Jefferson, who played little in his first season. Lions should pay close attention to this unforeseen young man.
This article was prepared by Sports Illustrated / All Lions staff. For more information, visit si.com/nfl/lions.