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Lions prioritized Kerryon Johnson, hoping to finally get a 100-yard rusher

SEC Championship - Auburn v Georgia

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 02: Kerryon Johnson #21 of the Auburn Tigers runs the ball during the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Lions General Manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia both worked with Bill Belichick in New England, and on Friday night they called Belichick to get a pick from him.

With the 43rd pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Lions selected Kerryon Johnson, a running back from Auburn. That fills perhaps the biggest need for the Lions: Improving their running game.

The pick was the second-round pick from the 49ers that the Patriots acquired by trading Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco. The Lions liked Johnson enough that they gave up picks 51 and 117 to go up and get him.

Johnson made a lot of big plays at Auburn and was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year last season. Johnson topped 100 rushing yards in a game eight times in 2017.

The Lions haven’t had a 100-yard game since Reggie Bush went for 117 yards against the Packers on Thanksgiving in 2013. The Lions hope their lagging running game just got better.