The Lions converted just 27 percent of third- and fourth-down running plays where they needed two or fewer yards last season, the worst rate in the NFL. Blount, on the other hand, has successfully converted those situations at a 54-percent clip the past two years.
But Blount will turn 32 this season, and despite averaging 4.4 yards per carry for the Eagles last season, carried the ball fewer than 11 times per game. Plus, he’s operating on a one-year contract, which Quinn acknowledged is a factor when evaluating draft decisions.
Quinn also acknowledged the ability to find quality backs late in the draft, or among the pool of undrafted free agents, referencing former New England Patriot BenJarvus Green-Ellis as an example. He ran for 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns in for the Patriots in 2010.
“I think you can get them in all shapes and sizes,” Quinn said. “You can get them early, mid, late. I think it’s really, you know, my job and my staff’s to kind of just get the best guy at the right time and whenever that is. If it is this year, then great.”
“At one point, I did want to go far. And at another point, I did want to stay close. So it was kind of mixed emotions,” he said. “But something good about me going to Rutgers is that if anything ever happened to my mom — because you know I love my mom, everybody loves their mom. If anything ever happened back at home, I’ll be there to snap two fingers and fix it. If I was all the way across the West Coast, I couldn’t just drive there, I couldn’t just get on a plane and come over and see how my mom is.”
The talent level coming out of South Jersey is on the rise, evidenced by the number of FBS offers extended to that half of the state over recent years. Although North Jersey football has dominated the landscape, the number of strong programs splitting the talent has allowed for more parity throughout the entire state.
The Camden cornerback is an example of that, becoming a Power 5 offeree in February, while attending Rutgers’ first junior day of 2018.