Six picks later, with the 172nd pick the Detroit Lions oddly enough elected to select their second running back of the draft, Jason Huntley way of New Mexico State. He’s a back I knew nothing about, he wasn’t anywhere close to being on our radar, but after watching some film and reading some scouting reports, it’s not a horrible pick, but a player, the Lions, likely could have picked with their last choice of the day.
In this case, unlike Cephus, it’s not as much the player picked. It’s where he was chosen. Huntley is a dynamic speedster who wasn’t even invited to the NFL Combine. During his Pro Day, Huntley displayed his jets running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash. Huntley will compete with Ty Johnson to be the last running back on Detroit’s depth chart. He projects to be a return specialist, and could see some time in the slot on offense, not full time but in specific situations. He’s a player that should see his fair share of jet sweeps, reverses, and bubble screens.
Huntley projects as a specialty player that the offense will look to get the ball into his hands and allow his return skills to come to fruition making people miss. Huntley compiled 134 receptions totaling 1,119 yards during his college career out of the backfield but also returned five kickoffs for touchdowns. Huntley will compete with Jamal Agnew to be Detroit’s primary returner.
In four seasons, Huntley toted the ball 374 times totaling 2197 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.
By selecting Huntley with the 172nd overall pick, the Detroit Lions missed out on edge rusher Bradlee Anae for the second time in the round, deciding to take Cephus and Huntley. More importantly, Detroit missed out on that guard we mentioned a bit ago.
The Lions could have used this pick on Fresno State’s Netane Muti. Muti had been the fifth-ranked guard by ESPN but fell to the sixth round due to injury concerns that prevented him from performing over the last two seasons.
Muti displayed his raw strength completed 44 bench press reps at the NFL Combine, which ties for the fourth-most in combine history. Muti is a beast in the run game regularly mauling defenders during run downs. His injury history the only reason he fell to the start of the sixth-round. Detroit should have taken a flier on Muti in round five and selected their return man later.
When you look at it, Detroit could have picked, Fotu, Peoples-Jones/Hill, and Muti along with getting Huntley later in the draft.