The Detroit Lions had to feel lucky with the third pick of the second round in the NFL draft on Friday.
Georgia running back D’Andre Swift was widely considered the top back in the draft. The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t agree, making LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire the top back off the board with the 32nd overall pick.
That was fine with the Lions, who got Swift at a nice bargain with the 35th pick.
The Lions have been trying to find a great back since Barry Sanders retired, and that was a long time ago. As ESPN’s Trey Wingo pointed out after the pick, the Lions have finished in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing yards in each of the past 21 seasons since Sanders retired.
Swift gives the Lions a chance at a breakout in the running game. Swift is a dynamic runner and an asset in the passing game. Matthew Stafford will enjoy having a playmaker to check down to when his wideouts aren’t covered.
The Lions picked Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah in the first round, filling a big need. They hope they filled another longstanding need early in the second round.
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