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We are getting closer and closer to the 2023 NFL Draft, and as it stands, the Detroit Lions have the No. 6 and No. 18 picks in the first round. There is no doubt that the players the Lions selected with those picks will be players that anyone who follows the draft process will be familiar with, but what about some of the small-school sleepers who Lions GM Brad Holmes could have his eye on in the later rounds? Here are a few small-school sleepers who could be on the Lions' radar.
3 Small-school sleepers the Detroit Lions could land in 2023 NFL Draft
Pro Football Focus recently released a list of small-school sleepers for the 2023 NFL Draft, and here are three that could end up landing with the Lions.
WR ANDREI IOSIVAS, PRINCETON
If DJ Chark's situation remains uncertain, the Detroit Lions may consider adding a wide receiver from the 2023 NFL Draft. One prospect that stands out is Iosivas, who boasts impressive athleticism at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. He recorded a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, a 39-inch vertical jump, and a 128-inch broad jump. Additionally, Iosivas was named a first-team All-Ivy League receiver in 2022, leading the conference with 66 receptions, 943 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. He also performed well at the Reeses Senior Bowl, making him a potential target for Brad Holmes if he falls far enough in the draft.
IDL DEVONNSHA MAXWELL, CHATTANOOGA
The Detroit Lions are expected to target the interior defensive line in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Maxwell may be a viable option in the later rounds. Last season, Maxwell stood out as Chattanooga's top pass-rusher, boasting an 80.6 pass-rush grade (according to Pro Football Focus), 28 total pressures, nine sacks and 16 hurries, which were among the best on the team. Additionally, Maxwell excels in run defense, with an impressive 89.4 run defense grade in 2022. While he may not possess the most explosive athleticism for an interior defender, his 2022 tape demonstrates his adeptness in pass rushing, utilizing a variety of moves such as the long arm, club-rip, and spin moves when given the opportunity.
LB AUBREY MILLER JR., JACKSON STATE
The Lions have secured LB Alex Anzalone with a contract extension, and are also retaining second-year LB Malcolm Rodriguez. However, the team could benefit from additional support, and Aubrey Miller from Jackson State may be a viable option. Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 225 pounds, Miller is a tackling powerhouse, recording double-digit tackles in eight games over the past two seasons, including two games with 19 tackles. He also boasts an 84.3 overall grade, the highest on the team among full-time starters, and an impressive 91.3 coverage grade on 215 coverage snaps. As a former four-star recruit, Miller's athleticism is noteworthy and he is not afraid to get physical in the box and at the line of scrimmage. The Lions may want to consider Miller as a late-round pick if he is still available.
Bottom Line: The Detroit Lions are always looking for sleepers in the NFL Draft
The Lions will certainly be landing some household names in the 2023 NFL Draft, but you can bet Brad Holmes will have his eye on a few small-school sleepers who could fall to the later rounds. Don't be surprised if Andrei Iosivas, Devonnsha Maxwell, or Aubrey Miller are selected by the Lions in the upcoming draft.Visit Gear Up Detroit for more hot swag