Typically, the Lions will keep five RBs, usually three tailbacks and two fullbacks. Typically, the coaches are trying to pick from a bunch of very average players.
It's very different in this camp.
"I have no idea," running backs coach Sam Gash said when asked how he saw things shaking out. "I am just giving guys reps and they will determine what happens themselves. For me to say these guys are competing for this many spots, I don't even know how many guys we're going to keep."
Head coach Jim Schwartz doesn't either.
"The best way to put that competition at running back is were open-minded," he said. "We're not going in saying this is exactly what we're keeping."
There are five tailbacks and three fullbacks fighting for what most likely will be five spots. And it's a pretty good bet that rookie Jahvid Best and veteran Kevin Smith are going to get the bulk of the work at tailback.
It would appear the Lions are going to give Best every opportunity to be the No. 1 back. But Smith, coming back quickly and strongly from knee surgery, doesn't appear to be conceding anything.
Here at 4for4, we have Best rated 29th with a fifth round ADP. Smith is rated in the 50s and may not even get drafted. Smith apparently isn't giving up the position, though, so we'll have to see how things shake out. It's hard to imagine Best not eventually getting the job. Even if he doesn't to start the season, he should have a role from the very start. We'll have to see if it's fantasy-starter worthy, however.