I drafted Kerryon Johnson at the end of the first round in a dynasty league over the weekend. He was Detroit's second-round pick, so no big deal that the team signed LeGarrette Blount and still has both Ameer Abdullah and third-down back Theo Riddick. Presumably they'll get the rookie on the field at the expense of one or two of those players.

The problem is that the Lions not only haven't been effective running the ball in recent years, they haven't really committed to it, either.

Jim Bob Cooter has been the Lions offensive coordinator the last two seasons, since taking over midway through 2015. He'll run the offense in 2018, as well. Now maybe the team hasn't had the right personnel at running back or on the line. But no team has paid as little attention to running the ball the last two seasons as Detroit.

Detroit ranked 32nd in rushing last year, and 30th in 2016. They're not good at it. But to climb out of the bottom 3 in rushing you need to put some effort into it, and in those same two seasons, Detroit has ranked 31st in rushing attempts; both years.

Team 2016 att2016 rk2016 yds 2016 rk2017 att2017 rk2017 yds2017 rk
Arizona 399211,73218409211,38630
Atlanta 421121,9285430161,84713
Baltimore 367301,4632846071,85611
Buffalo 49222,630148742,0176
Carolina 45371,8141049032,1024
Chicago 380251,73517422181,78816
Cincinnati 44691,76913377291,36631
Cleveland 350311,71219384281,71418
Dallas 49912,396248052,1702
Denver 410151,4842745781,85212
Detroit 350311,31030363311,22132
Green Bay 374291,70120386271,72417
Houston 45661,8598448121,84214
Indianapolis 409171,62823451101,66122
Jacksonville 392241,6312252712,2621
Kansas City412141,74815405231,9039
LA Chargers 398221,51026419191,59524
LA Rams 375281,2523145491,9538
Miami 405181,8249360321,38829
Minnesota 380261,2053250121,9577
New England 48231,8727448111,88910
New Orleans 404191,74216444132,0705
NY Giants 398231,41229394251,54926
NY Jets 418131,80212427171,70219
Oakland 434111,9226370301,55425
Philadelphia 438101,8131147362,1153
Pittsburgh 409161,76014437151,66720
San Francisco 45852,0194408221,66221
Seattle 403201,59125409201,62923
Tampa Bay 45381,61624389261,45027
Tennessee 47642,1873443141,83315

Detroit used its top pick on Frank Ragnow, a center in college who they've been using at guard at OTAs. That should help the blocking up front. Surely the team is aware the offense would be better overall if it pays more attention to the ground game.

But without a commitment to running the ball from the offense, hard to see any back putting up great rushing numbers. So I've got Johnson, but my expectations for 2018 are modest. Might take a year or two before he really pays off.

--Andy Richardson