The Lions expect to have Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure back from injuries in 2012, but they would like to have a bit of insurance against further absences from the two tailbacks.
Oregon running back LaMichael James could be part of that plan. James visited with the Lions on Wednesday as one of the 30 pre-draft visits from prospects the Lions are allowed before draft day. James ran for 5,082 yards and scored 57 touchdowns in Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense over his three years with the Ducks. He realizes he wouldn’t be playing such a featured role in Detroit.
“I feel like if I came here I would be just another weapon in the arsenal,” James said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press. “They have a lot of great players, a lot of great running backs and I would just get in where I fit in.”
There’s been some talk of re-signing Kevin Smith in Detroit, although nothing has happened on that front as yet. James projects as a second day pick come April and the Lions might prefer his upside to what they’ve already seen from Smith.