By Erik Schlitt
The 2017 running back draft class has an abundance of talented players, but which ones will fit into Detroit’s offensive scheme?
To attempt to answer that question, I created a system called Quinn Influenced Benchmarks (QIB), which is my synthesis of Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s athletic preferences.
There are lots of measured numbers available during draft season, and the QIB system focuses on both NFL combine numbers and official pro day numbers.
Because of the Lions offensive scheme, they have shown a tendency to prefer running backs who are agile and explosive. The drills that the Lions running backs perform well in are three-cone and vertical jump. I have also added a third category, the overall agility score, which is factored by adding a players 3-cone drill and short shuttle times together.
Over the last year, the Lions have carried 10 different running backs and five remain on the current roster. Of those five, Ameer Abdullah, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington, all fully qualify for QIB. Theo Riddick passed both agility benchmarks but fell short in the vertical jump; Mike James only missed in the overall agility...