The Detroit Lions are aggressively searching for the next Barry Sanders.
The front office continued to load up at the running back position during the NFL draft on Thursday by making what could go down as the most surprising 2023 pick. The Lions, after trading down from No. 6, used the No. 12 pick to select Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who was projected to go late in the first round.
Instead, he became the Lions' highest-drafted running back since 1989 when they selected Sanders with the No. 3 pick.
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The speedy Gibbs, who recorded a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, rushed for 926 yards last season and added 444 receiving yards on 44 catches.
But he joins a crowded Detroit backfield that already includes D'Andre Swift, who last season had 542 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 99 carries and 389 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 48 catches.
Detroit also signed former Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery in March to a three-year, $18 million contract that includes both $8.75 million fully guaranteed at signing and $2.25 million fully guaranteed if he’s on the Lions’ roster on the third day of the 2024 league year, per ProFootballTalk.
That's a lot of resources spent on a position that most teams shy away from investing heavily in. Hence the reason social media was divided on the Gibbs pick...