The Detroit Lions have a need at running back.
Ryan Mathews is the best selection that has the slightest chance to make it to the 34th overall pick. But it is highly undoubted, is it?
The pick is the San Diego Chargers at 28.
In what ways could he slip past the Chargers?
1. RB Toby Gerhart Out of Stanford
The San Diego Chargers are on record for liking Gerhart. Gerhart is a big back and is a compliment to RB Darren Sproles. Gerhart is also likely to be available at the 40th overall selection.
While I did say 40th selection, hear me out.
The Chargers went all-out for Jacob Hester a few years back—they selected him extremely early, and he is just a FB. Now Gerhart may be a one-hit wonder to some, but the Chargers have a liking for this man, and you know AJ gets his man.
Gerhart has the potential to be a primary back in most peoples' eyes—but I don't see it. But that's me.
San Diego would then be able to select a DT like Terrance Cody at 28, letting Ryan fall past them, and into our arms.
2. The Potential Availability of Marshawn Lynch or Marion Barber
While it is unlikely that San Diego goes to a current NFL player to completely solve their need at RB, there is a chance that acquiring one of these players could make the RB position be less of a need, letting San Diego go in the other position need of nose tackle.
Barber would make the most sense of the two, the Chargers have two third-round selections in the 2011 draft and could use them in a deal to acquire Barber from the Cowboys.
Barber also fills the role of a pounding back, something again to compliment Sproles in the end.
Lynch is also potentially available, and could be had for cheap. AJ will likely do some wheeling and dealing for one the two if need be.
3. Philip Rivers' Confidence in Current Backfield
Rivers has studied the NFL running back class, and has noticed like most everyone, this class is deep.
He also has noted that he has confidence in running back Darren Sproles and Jacob Hester, while that may also not be enough for the current team.
Rivers' words may help the ease of AJ in selecting a running back at 28th overall, it doesn't shut it out. It is still likely at the 40th pick that San Diego addresses the need.
Either way, Rivers will be happy having a running back to help ease the pressure.
4. The Lions Trade With San Diego for the 28th Selection
The Lions have done it before, having trade back into the first round of a draft to draft a running back.
See Kevin Jones.
While Jones was a good pick, his injuries and health problems created a mess for Detroit—ultimately releasing him in 2008.
That is something that current potential pick Mathews has not had.
The deal would not be as radical as the the trade for Jones, but San Diego could still have Cody available at 34 and be willing to acquire future picks/players for the trade-down.
The only problem is the lack of depth on Detroit's roster would become harder to fill giving picks. But having Mathews could be what Detroit needs to get over the offensive hump.
5. The Chargers Go With Terrance Cody or Jahvid Best at 28
I did note earlier the possibility of drafting Terrance Cody as an option for San Diego, it is also a reason.
San Diego has a pressing need at nose tackle, having released Jamal Williams earlier this year.
Cody is much younger and could fill the role on the roster, and filling the need at nose.
The Chargers draft Jahvid Best instead?
Personally, I think Best is no more then a change-of-pace back and a future Reggie Bush-type of player.
Best could still be the selection at 28, being that he is a Cal graduate, and having to be in California, it could help San Diego having seen him being that he is so close.
We Detroit fans can only hope that he does fall to 34, but lets just wait and see, and pray for the best.
Having a corner at 34 isn't bad also, but having Mathews could be better.
Hope you enjoyed the read.