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Could Lions Take a Running Back in the First Round?

I have posted in many forums that I think the Lions should take a DT, DE and an OG in the first three rounds. There are a few who think the Lions should take a Safety and even a few who think they should draft RB - CJ Spiller in the first round. I have argued against this until recently I have found myself leaning the other way. Please don't get me wrong. I still think they should take one of the top DT's in the first round, but I do admit, I see some logic in Spiller.

The only way I would draft CJ Spiller in the first round however, is if they could trade down by swapping 1st round picks and gain a 2nd round pick. Now allow me to explain why this interests me.

Recently I read a post where some fans feel that the RB position can be addressed in the later rounds of a draft. So, naturally, I had to dig into this line of thought. . .

RBs Drafted in 1st round =
Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Steve Jackson, Thomas Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, Cedric Benson, Knowshon Moreno, Ricky Williams, Jonathan Stewart, LaDanian Tomlinson, Beanie Wells, Lawrence Maroney, Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Darren McFadden, and Donald Brown.

RBs Drafted in 2nd round =
Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and Matt Forte

RBs Drafted in 3rd round =
Jamaal Charles, Frank Gore, Steve Slaton, and Justin Fargas

RBs Drafted AFTER the 3rd round =
Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Grant, Tim Hightower, Jerome Harrison, Justin Forsett, Fred Jackson, Marion Barber, Ahmad Bradshaw, Mike Bell, Michael Bush, and Correl Buckhalter

Notice that almost ALL of the elite RBs were drafted in the first 3 rounds and most of those were in the 1st round. After the 3rd round there are only a handful who are proven good runningbacks.

Can you get a good RB later in the draft? Yes. Are the odds very good? Not at all. If the Lions are going to address the RB position, they should do it in FA. If not then, then they are far better off taking one in the first few rounds.

So let's say the Lions choose to go that route. There are other teams who draft in the middle of the first round who might love a chance to get Suh or McCoy or even Bradford or Claussen. There are no teams in the first round however that have a glaring hole at running back, so Spiller would likely still be available in the middle of the first round. With the extra pick in the 2nd round, it is highly likely the Lions could still get their hands on a very good DT. Remember, this draft will be heavy with good Defensive Tackles. So rather than getting a DT, DE, and a OG in the first three rounds, if the Lions were to trade down and take Spiller, they very well could end up with a DT, DE, OG, and a very good RB.

In more simpler terms, I would be very interested in dropping from a great DT to a good DT if I can add a very good RB to boot.

I am still not sold this is the way to go, but I have to admit, if you really look at it, a move like this might make a lot of sense.

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