Detroit Lions draft RB/kickoff returner Jason Huntley in fifth round

New Mexico State RB Jason Huntley was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round on Saturday.

With their second pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected another running back. 

New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley will join second-round pick D’Andre Swift in the backfield in Detroit.

Huntley, who is 5-9 and 193 pounds, is a standout for his kickoff return skills. It may be his ticket to land on the Lions’ 53-man roster.

“Honestly, whatever position they want me to play, that’s what I’ll play. If it is returning kicks, I’d be more than happy to do it,’’ Huntley said in a conference call on Saturday.

In 2018 he led the FBS with three kickoff returns for touchdowns (22 returns, 598 yards, 27.2 average).

In his senior year he had 154 carries for 1,090 yards for an average of 7.1 yards per carry and nine touchdowns. His kickoff production was down (15 returns, 302 yards, 20.1 average).

As for his running style he describes it: “I’m more of a fast guy. I think that’s the biggest thing about me, my speed. I’m good in space. Off the field, I’m good on the board as well. That’s a pretty good IQ.”

Detroit Lions draft picks (so far)

First round — CB Jeff Okudah (3rd overall), Ohio State

Second round — RB D’Andre Swift (35th overall) Georgia

Third round — LB Julian Okwara (67th overall) Notre Dame

Third round — G Jonah Jackson (85th overall) Ohio State

Fourth round — G Logan Stenberg (121st overall) Kentucky

Fifth round — WR Quintez Cephus (166th overall) Wisconsin

Fifth round — RB Jason Huntley (172nd overall) New Mexico State


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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