Lions Grab Sorely Needed Running Back

After a swift move to get back into the first round, the Detroit Lions were able to nab Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones. Complete and exclusive scouting report on Kevin Jones inside!

After failing in their attempts to nab Oregon State running back Steven Jackson early in the first round Saturday afternoon, the Detroit Lions were able to secure the No. 2 rated running back in the draft.

They just needed a little bit of help to attain him.

Virginia Tech's Kevin Jones, rated as one of the draft's best backs, slipped to the end of the first round, where a handful of teams had their eye on the elusive All American -- including the Lions.

Without a running back, the Lions sent one of their two second round picks, including a fourth round pick from this year, and next year's fifth round selection to move into the slot and grab Jones.

Jones' capped an imaginative first round by the Lions, which witnessed two trades and the drafting of two of the top offensive prospects available in the draft.

Jones' presence will be felt immediately by the needy Lions, who ended last season as the league's worst offensive rushing team, averaging a pitiable 85.6 rush yards per game, and just 3.6 yards per carry.

Jones will join a backfield that currently harbors just two holdovers from last season; second-year tailback Artose Pinner and veteran Shawn Bryson.

Jones will likely be penciled in as the starter.

IN-DEPTH SCOUTING REPORT ON KEVIN JONES

Name: Kevin Jones School Virginia Tech Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 227 40: 4.41 Pos: RB

Bio: All American and All Conference selection as a junior after totaling 265/1,494/20 on the ground. Sophomore totals were 160/871/9 carrying the ball when he split time with Lee Suggs. Played extensively his first year in the program posting rushing numbers of 175/957/5. Ran for a school record 241 yards against Pittsburgh last season, also recording seven 100-yard rushing games during the campaign, another Tech record.

Pos: Explosive runner with great elusiveness and the ability to create. Patient back that sees the field and follows blocks at the line of scrimmage or down the field. Quick footed, explosive and immediately cuts it back, bouncing to the outside and avoiding piles. Freezes defenders and makes them miss. Decisive ball carrier with top instincts. Finds the running lanes and bursts through them with authority. Slippery, runs with great balance and slides off defenders, staying on his feet to pick up the positive yardage. Fast enough to cut the corner or run to daylight. Gets through the tight spots on the inside and takes it North/South without wasting much movement. Strong lower body and does not go down easily. Improved his hands as the season progressed last year.

Neg: Gives marginal effort blocking and not effective. Though a strong runner, not a powerhouse on the inside. Played with a sore hamstring as a junior.

Analysis: Combining both skill and instinct, Jones is the complete package at running back and offers a variety of skills. His explosion coupled with the ability to run on the inside or outside makes him a perfect fit for almost any offensive system.


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