The Detroit Lions haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush's first season with the club in 2013. No Lions RB has gone for even 700 yards since Joique Bell the following year in 2014.
The Lions thought they had the man to end those streaks in Kerryon Johnson when they drafted him in the second round (43rd overall) in 2018. Injuries, however, have relegated the back to 18 games the past two seasons. He rushed for 641 yards as a rookie in 2018 and 403 in eight games last season, scoring six total touchdowns in two years.
In order to supplement the dynamic but oft-injured running back this offseason, the Lions used another second-round pick (35th) on D'Andre Swift, a dual-threat RB out of Georgia.
Johnson isn't fretting about competing for carries.
"Look, I knew we were going to draft a running back eventually," Johnson said Wednesday, via the Detroit News. "I think we got, in my opinion, definitely one of the top two (in the draft). I love having a running back. I love winning games and I think he can help us do that, so I wasn't tripping at all."
Swift, who earned back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Bulldogs, brings dual-threat ability to Detroit and can hit a home run on any touch.
"He's a phenomenal player," Johnson said. "I remember playing against him in college. I hated seeing him, every time. We played against Nick Chubb and Sony (Michel) and I'm telling you, when that kid stepped on the field, he's lightning in a bottle. He's a threat to go 80 yards, 70, 60, every time he touches it.
"He's a lot more elusive than I am, I would say so, and I think everybody would agree to that. But just having multiple running backs that are capable of running the ball at an efficient level, whether the style is different or the style is the same, just take the stress off one another."
The Lions rushing attack struggled each time Johnson got injured the past two seasons. Adding a dynamic player in Swift offers Detroit's offense two players who can make defenders miss and pick up chunk gains out of the backfield. Given his pedigree and pass-catching acumen, it would not be stunning to see Swift surpass Johnson in snaps during his rookie campaign. Regardless, both should share the backfield plenty and could allow OC Darrell Bevell to deploy some two-back sets in certain situations.