Todd Gurley is considered by several experts as the top running back available in this year's NFL draft. Would he be a good fit in Detroit?
The Lions, who have the 23rd overall pick, brought Gurley in for a pre-draft visit on Monday, according to the team web site.
Since Reggie Bush was released the Lions have a need for another running back to help carry the load along with Joique Bell. Theo Riddick’s strength is catching balls out of the backfield. George Winn had a solid training camp but didn’t get many carries in the regular season — just 19 for 73 yards.
The one big issue with Gurley, who played at Georgia, is that he tore an ACL in November. He’s expected to possibly return for the start of training camp.
Right or wrong, his durability is a concern because he also missed three games in 2013 with an ankle injury.
He’s got NFL size at 6-foot-1 and 222 pounds. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry in 2014, finishing with 911 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had a dozen catches for 57 yards.
Rob Rang of NFLdraftscout.com describes Gurley as “built for the NFL with a muscle-bound, physical frame and naturally lowers his pads and squares his shoulder to attack the line of scrimmage and bounce off defenders.”
Rang also wrote: “Reads the first line of attack very well and senses daylight to hit holes with authority and quickness to stick-and-go, accelerating extremely well in his cuts.’’
Gurley was suspended for four games in 2014 for signing autographs. That is not expected to be affect his draft scout, per Walterfootball.com.
No running backs were drafted in the first round in 2013 and 2014.
Gurley has a chance to break that run in a draft that is rich in running back talent. Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) is also projected as a possible first-round pick.
Jahvid Best was the last running back the Lions drafted in the first round (2010)
The three-day NFL draft starts April 30 in Chicago.