After adding running back Reggie Bush in free agency, few thought the Detroit Lions would draft a running back in the 2013 NFL Draft. In the sixth round of the draft, the Lions did just that, but with a twist.
With the 199th overall pick in the draft, the Lions took Theo Riddick, a running back from Notre Dame. Riddick is a great pick for the Lions, as he has experience at both running back and wide receiver. Riddick had a couple of great years at Notre Dame, which could make this an underrated home run pick sometime in the future.
In his Notre Dame career, Riddick finished with 1169 yards rushing and 1263 yards receiving. In 2012, Riddick played in all 13 games for National Championship contender Notre Dame. Riddick rushed 190 times for 917 yards. Riddick had a 4.8 yard average per carry and found the end zone five times. Riddick had 1287 total yards on the season. Riddick had big games against BYU (143 rushing yards) and USC (146 rushing yards), but struggled in the BCS National Championship Game. In the title game, Riddick rushed ten times, but gained only 37 yards.
As a wide receiver his junior season, Riddick had 38 catches for 436 yards and three touchdowns. Riddick ranked third on the team in many receiving categories, as he was overshadowed by Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert. As a freshman, Riddick returned kicks at Notre Dame.
This was a smart pick for the Lions. Riddick brings diversification and could find time as a running back, slot receiver, or kick returner. Riddick could also become a valuable receiving target out of the backfield, similar to Bush and Joique Bell. To me, this was the smart way to take a running back for the Lions.