Lions draft outlook: Running backs

Two of the major college all-star games took place last Saturday. The Senior Bowl happens this Saturday with practices all week.

Many of the players selected in May’s draft will come from these three games or from underclassmen who decided the time was right to turn professional. Over the next two weeks, pairing with our position outlook series, we’ll take a quick preview look and look back at some names to become familiar with over the next four months as the NFL draft process crawls along.

Today the series continues with running backs, a spot the Lions don’t have a major need for at this point. It is also tough to project running backs at this point because of Joique Bell’s pending restricted free agency. If the Lions lose Bell, they could be in the market for a running back, making this a much more coveted spot.

Previous looks: Quarterbacks

NFLPA game: Kiero Small, FB (5-foot-10, 242, Arkansas). Had one carry for no yards in the game. Had 40 rushes for 151 yards and three touchdowns this season. J.C. Copeland, FB (6-1, 272, LSU). Had two carries for 2 yards and two touchdowns in the NFLPA game. Had 13 carries for 25 yards and three touchdowns this season. Ray Agnew, FB (5-11, 242, Southern Illinois). Mostly a blocking back, had no rushes for Southern Illinois this season. Anthony Wilkerson, RB (6-1, 214, Stanford). Had seven carries for 65 yards and a touchdown in the NFLPA game. Rushed 84 times for 353 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Shrine Game: Rajion Neal, RB (5-10 5/8, 206, Tennessee). Had five carries for 17 yards in the game. Had 215 rushes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Ranked as No. 10 running back.

Senior Bowl prospects: Ryan Hewitt, FB (6-4, 245, Stanford, No. 85 North). Had five carries for 8 yards last season. Was the Cardinal’s primary blocking back. Jay Prosch, FB (6-1, 250, Auburn, No. 35 South). Did not have a carry this season. Transferred from Illinois and was primary fullback for Illini and the Tigers. David Fluellen, RB (6-0, 215, Toledo, No. 34 North). Had 167 rushes for 1,121 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. No. 40 running back by ESPN. Charles Sims, RB (6-0, 213, West Virginia, No. 33 North). Had 208 carries for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns. No. 8 running back by ESPN.

Others not in major all-star games: James Wilder Jr., RB (6-2, 229, Florida State). Had 81 carries for 563 yards and eight touchdowns before leaving school with a year left. Trey Millard, FB (6-2, 253, Oklahoma). Had 17 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown this season before tearing his left ACL in October.