The Detroit Lions signed Reggie Bush to be their feature back this offseason and have young RB Mikel LeShoure slated to get heavy snaps as a backup, but that isn’t stopping the Lions from showing interest in running backs in the 2013 NFL Draft. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions hosted former Auburn Tigers standout Onterio McCalebb on a pre-draft visit.
McCalebb was clocked with blazing unofficial forty times of 4.21 and 4.27 at the 2013 NFL Combine, and the first time would have broken Chris Johnson‘s combine record. Instead, his official time was docked down to a 4.34 time, which was a bit low for McCalebb. While at Auburn’s pro day, he ran a forty time of 4.29 and showed off that signature speed. He also showed up well on the bench press and broad jump, with his vertical coming in at an impressive 37-inches.
One of the fastest players in this draft, McCalebb has boosted his stock from a UDFA-type player to a late-round pick. McCalebb isn’t a heralded prospect by any means, but the small back is definitely heralded for his speed. He also has the versatility to play in the defensive backfield, make plays as a pass-catcher (something the Lions covet), and he can even play on special teams.
The Auburn product has compared himself to Dexter McCluster, and it is that all-purpose ability that makes him appealing to so many teams- especially the Detroit Lions. Last season, McCalebb averaged a tad over six yards per carry and showed some explosive ability on returns. McCalebb prides himself on his ability to be an all-purpose back, and he sounds especially proud of his sub-4.30 speed.
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