Detroit Lions Free Agency: Why Ryan Grant Would Be Perfect Fit for Lions

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IMay 4, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11:  Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers scores his second touchdown of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Ryan Grant may not seem like a big possible signing for the Detroit Lions, but the former Green Bay Packers running back is just what the team needs.

Last season, the Lions were ranked 29th in rushing and relied heavily on their passing game. Matthew Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards as he and Calvin Johnson became one of the biggest quarterback and wide receiver combinations in the NFL.

Championships are supposed to be won by running the football and by playing great defense. However, the league seems to be changing. Last year's Super Bowl featured one team that was last in the league in rushing (New York Giants) and another team that was second-to-last in defense (New England Patriots).

The Lions have a passing attack that can rank in the Top Five in the NFL. With the potential addition of Grant, the team would still rely on the pass more than the run, but would possess a player capable of providing a spark in the running game.

Every team in the NFL will face short-yardage situations on multiple occasions in every game. Grant would provide Detroit with a runner who can get a few tough yards when needed. This offseason, the Lions have helped their offensive line, which had trouble blocking in 2011. This should also provide more positive results for the run game.

Another benefit of having Grant on the roster will be his pass-protecting skills. It is hard to find a running back who is a good blocker to help with blitzes. Grant excels in this area of the game, and his skills will be necessary when Detroit face some of the top pass-rushers in the league.

The Chicago Bears have Julius Peppers and the Packers have Clay Matthews, both of whom may require double teams or least chips off the edge from Grant.

Being an undrafted player, Grant always feels the need to prove himself. He knows that doing the little things that help the team is what coaches like to see. He has not lost that mentality and he will do whatever it takes to win.

There is nothing too spectacular to look at when examining Grant's abilities as a runner. He has averaged 4.3 yards per game over his five-year career, and he is a solid NFL starter. He would not be expected to run for huge gains when he touches the ball in the Lions offense. The job he will need to do and would excel at is getting the Lions in more manageable third-down situations.

Most fans can agree that they do not want to see less of the Lions' dangerous passing attack. However, most fans do want Detroit to have some sort of running game. Grant will provide that and he will also help Stafford get extra time in the pocket to find the receiver he needs.

Let's hope that Grant makes the decision to sign with the Lions and can help them make a deep run into the playoffs.