Lions Close Out Day One With RB Calhoun

So much for smoke screens. With the selection of Brian Calhoun, Detroit is now three for three -- which is three consecutive draft picks that the team DID visit with at the Allen Park facility prior to the draft. Complete overview and scouting profile of Calhoun inside.

Scout.com Prospect Profile ...

Full Name: Brian Calhoun School: Wisconsin Pos: RB

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 203 40: 4.52 (Pro Day yielded a 4.38) Year: 4Jr

Bio: Former Colorado transfer awarded All-Conference honors as a junior after posting 348/1,636/22 on the ground with 53/571/2 catching the ball. Led Colorado as a sophomore with 810 rushing yards.

Pos: Shifty ball-handler with a variety of skills. Runs with a great degree of patience, follows blocks everywhere on the field and quickly gets through small openings.  Elusive and makes defenders miss. Works runs using an effective straight-arm to keep tacklers away. Seamless receiver out of the backfield who has soft, natural hands.  Displays excellent first-step quickness and a burst of speed.

Neg: Marginally strong carrying the ball and can be easily brought down at the point of attack. More of a one-speed back who does run to daylight.

Analysis: Productive handling the ball, Calhoun is perfectly suited as a third-down back/situational runner in the NFL. Could see spot duty as a starter, yet may never be the big-time feature runner he was in college.

How he fits in with Detroit: So much for smoke screens. With the selection of Calhoun, Detroit is now three for three -- which is three consecutive draft picks that the team DID visit with at the Allen Park facility prior to the draft.

However, after securing veteran Shawn Bryson to a multi-year deal, in addition to the return of backup Artose Pinner and starter Kevin Jones, there simply doesn't seem to be room for any additional running backs on the team's roster. Still, Calhoun has the soft hands that Lions' coordinator Mike Martz loves his running backs to have. A third round pick might have been a reach, but after two consecutive defensive players, Martz and Lions' GM Matt Millen might have been eager for any offensive talent.

Expect Calhoun to compete with Pinner for a roster slot, and eventually replace Bryson as the team's third down back. And if Jones can't remain healthy (an issue that hasn't eluded him the past two years), the Wisconsin speed threat could see advanced playing time.

He could also see time as a special teams returner, depending on how healthy current PR/KR Eddie Drummond can remain.

“Brian Calhoun in the right situation could be a very interesting prospect. He has the speed, elusiveness, and durability to play at the next level,” one AFC team scout noted. “The question is whether his size (5-9 ½ - 202-lbs) will be a deterrent. At this time where we are again seeing a mix of big and small backs in the league, there could be a place for him (Calhoun).”

Wisconsin Pro Day Brief (via Badger Nation): Took part in most events, and improved dramatically from his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine… Wednesday results included: a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical jump, 6.78-second 3-cone drill and a 4.0-second 20-yard shuttle… weighed in at 204 pounds… Took part in pass-catching drills and caught mock punts and acquitted himself well.

STRENGTHS
 Cutback Ability
 Elusiveness
 Hands
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
 Power
 Tackle-Breaking Ability
THE SKINNY: Elusive and smart runner who is able to take advantage of what the offensive line provides and who is a good receiver out of the backfield. Not a power runner or a back who can move the pile.

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