NFC North Ranking The Running Game Part Seven: Detroit Lions

Jeff LittleSenior Writer IMarch 25, 2008

Part seven of a 32 part series, a running back position analysis of each franchise. The Detroit Lions had a 6-2 start that featured an explosive offense at times and a defense that at the very least turned in some competitive efforts.


Despite the above mentioned positives the cracks in the armor were already starting to show. From that point on, the Lions lost seven of eight games and fell short of the predicted 10 wins in 2007. Mike Martz was the offensive coordinator but he is now in San Francisco & the defense needs some serious work. The Lions as a team ran for 81 yards per game which was 31st in the league.


Detroit Lions

Kevin Jones     6’ 0” 228 lbs.   153 Att. 581 Yards   3.8 YPC Avg.  8 TD’s

Tatum Bell       5’ 11” 213 lbs.   44 Att. 182  Yards   4.1 YPC Avg.  1 TD

Brian Calhoun  5’ 10 “ 208 lbs.     7 Att.   35 Yards   5.0 YPC Avg.

Aveion Cason   5’ 10 “ 204 lbs.   11 Att.    38 Yards  3.5 YPC Avg.



The former Lions leading rusher Kevin Jones was a first round pick in 2004 the 30th overall selection has been released. The Lions running attack was anemic partly due to talent and injuries but also former coordinator Mike Martz who is famous for not being the biggest fan of the running game.


The Lions rushing yardage was close to being non existent but one can look at the yards per carry of each running back and see the potential of a solid running game. This team will definitely be in the market for a running back and should do so in round one and select Rashard Mendenhall. Tatum Bell can be the back up and Brian Calhoun & Aveion Cason would provide depth at the position.

Rod Marinelli & staff love the Tampa-two defense where they have to have pressure from their front four and are committed to it but with needs at CB, DE, MLB, RB, OT where do they start?


Phillip Merling, Lawrence Jackson, Derrick Harvey all could be available in the second round. This draft is loaded with quality depth at the Offensive Tackle position.

The question for Detroit Lions: If the Lions can fill the above mentioned needs in this upcoming draft will it be enough to provide them with a better pass rush?