NFL.com ranks the Detroit Lions as having one of many high coaching camp battles
Following two straight seasons hindered by accidents, the Detroit Lions figured to deal with their working again place within the 2020 NFL Draft. And when their quantity was referred to as early within the second spherical, the Lions did simply that. However will there be a coaching camp battle on the place in consequence?
Greater than two years in the past, the Lions traded up within the 2018 draft to accumulate Auburn working again Kerryon Johnson. And whereas Johnson’s tenure in Detroit has proven promise, back-to-back knee accidents have solely allowed him to play 18 of a doable 32 video games.
Having spent half the season with out Johnson within the lineup final yr, the Lions prioritized discovering a extra dependable choice this offseason. And with the 35th total choice in April’s draft, Detroit picked Georgia working again D’Andre Swift.
Touted by some because the high participant at his place in his draft class, Swift figures to pair with Johnson as a rookie to make up one of many league’s high one-two punches. And his talent set as a receiver out of the backfield also needs to enable him to get extra alternatives in his first season.
However the acquisition of Swift gave the impression to be an try to fill a necessity quite than looking for a substitute for Johnson. In Might, Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed the concept that there might be a place battle at working again by asking if the title of starter mattered when one again is in on the primary play and the opposite on the second.
It appears clear that the Lions see Johnson and Swift as an interchangeable combo quite than one being a starter and the opposite a reliever. But, that hasn’t cease outsiders from predicting the 2 being in stark competitors with one another this summer season.
Right here’s what Gregg Rosenthal wrote for NFL.com after rating the Swift vs. Johnson coaching camp battle in his high 5 to observe within the NFC.
“Swift’s talent set would have made him a top-10 decide if he performed in a special period; as a substitute, Detroit was in a position to snag him within the second spherical of April’s draft. Johnson has performed like a top-20 again when he’s been on the sphere. He’s simply struggled to remain there. Don’t inform Lions followers, however their offense ought to be sneaky enjoyable to observe this season.”
Accidents to Kerryon Johnson pressured the Detroit Lions to search out themselves one other working again able to carrying the load. They usually did simply that with the choice of D’Andre Swift. However whereas the intention might be to run them each equally when the season begins, if one is clearly significantly better than the opposite, count on the Lions to go heavy with the recent hand.