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The Detroit Lions prospects of interest

With the 2016 pre-draft scouting process coming to the end, the Detroit Lions are winding down on their visits with potential draft selections. The Detroit scouting staff has interacted with a long list of prospects this season– at least relative to years past.

Not every single interview or workout makes it to the media, but the disclosed information is still a solid indicator as to who the Lions may cherish and also ranking the positional needs of the team. It is critical to note, teams don’t always interview the players they really like either. Sometimes it’s better to not show your hand or display favoritism to protect a prominent target.

Quarterbacks:

Synopsis: Bob Quinn has stated it is good football business to draft a QB every year or every other year. By the looks of the signal-callers they have talked to, a late round selection will be their plan of action.

  • Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jeff Driskel, QB, Louisiana Tech: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Blake Frohnapfel, QB, Massachusetts: Met with QB coach Brian Callahan
  • Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Cody Kessler, QB, USC: Had a private official top 30 visit
  • Jake Rudock, QB, Michigan: Met at his Pro Day, a workout, and a local visit
  • Josh Woodrum, QB, Liberty: Worked out with Lions

 

Running Backs:

Synopsis: Outside of Tyler Ervin, it is apparent the Lions are looking for a big, but athletic, bruiser. All of the below players are later round selections. It would be a surprise if Detroit were to grab a ball carrier in any of the first four rounds.

  • Tyler Ervin, RB, Sand Jose State: Jim Bob Cooter present at Pro Day
  • Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day, official 30 visit
  • Devon Johnson, RB/FB, Marshall: Running back coach David Walker attended pro day
  • Dan Vitale, FB, Northwestern: Met at Combine
  • Brandon Wilds, RB, South Carolina: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas: Met at Combine

 

Tight Ends:

Synopsis: Not much attention for the tight ends this year and with good reason. The Lions should not be going hard after the position with two former first round picks already manning the station.

  • Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina: Tight end coach Al Golden attended SC’s pro day
  • Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Ben McCord, TE, Central Michigan: Had a local visit
  • David Morgan, TE, Texas-San Antonio: Tight end coach Golden visits pro day

Wide Receivers:

Synopsis: Outside of the three big names on this list, there are plenty of sleepers and late round prospects. The common theme with most of these wideouts is speed and agility. With the addition of Marvin Jones, the need at the WR position has been somewhat mitigated.

  • Bralon Addison, WR, Oregon: Met at the Combine
  • Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State: Team visit
  • Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor: Had a scheduled visit
  • Trevor Davis, WR, California: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Josh Doctson, WR, TCU: Met at Combine
  • Johnny Holton, WR, Cincinnati: Said to have a meeting with Lions
  • Jay Lee, WR, Baylor: Meeting at his Pro Day and a private workout
  • Chris Moore, WR, Cincinnati: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss: Agent trying to set up visit, Jim Bob Cooter at Pro Day

 

Offensive Tackles:

Synopsis: It is obvious to fans and the Lions staff that offensive tackle is a dire need. Detroit used a large portion of their official top-30 draft visits on the position which would indicate they are serious about upgrading. One noticeable pattern is the considerable amount of projected left tackles on the list who should be available in round two.

  • Caleb Benenoch, OT, UCLA: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State: Lions conducted a private workout
  • Donavon Clark, OT, Michigan State: Lions conducted a private workout
  • Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech: OL coach Ron Prince visited Texas Tech’s pro day
  • Clay DeBord, OT, Eastern Washington: Lions visited with DeBord
  • Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State: Had an individual Workout
  • Chase Farris, OT, Ohio State: Had an individual Workout
  • Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Lars Hanson, OT, Sacramento State: Lions staff present at Pro Day
  • Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Ryker Mathews, OT, Brigham Young: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame: Line coach Michael McCarthy attended his Pro Day
  • Cole Toner, OT, Harvard: Met at the Combine

Interior Linemen:

Synopsis: With only one true center listed below, maybe the Lions feel Travis Swanson needs another year of experience before looking for a replacement. Guard should be a low priority with last year’s first-round pick Laken Tomlinson and Larry Warford penciled in as starters.

  • Vadal Alexander, OG, LSU: Line coach Michael McCarthy attended his pro day
  • Jack Allen, OC, Michigan State: Had a private workout
  • Joe Dahl, OG/OT, Washington State: Met at the Combine
  • Graham Glasgow, OG/C, Michigan: Met at the local visit
  • Alex Huettel, G, Bowling Green: Had an individual Workout
  • Sebastian Tretola, G, Arkansas: Met at the Combine
  • Cody Whitehair, OG, Kansas State: Lions had a noticeable presence at his pro day

Defensive Ends:

Synopsis: Surprisingly, the DE list is rather small. The Lions only have three NFL caliber ends on their roster at the moment– at a position known for needing rotational players. Plenty goes on unnoticed behind the scenes and I’m sure they have met with more, but the lack of engagement is a bit peculiar. Do they only want to interview the top tier DEs for a reason?

  • Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State: Met at Combine and had a local visit
  • Shaq Lawson, DE/3-4OLB, Clemson: Met at Combine and had an official 30 visit
  • Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: Ogbah had private workout with Lions
  • Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson: Had a Private official 30 visit
  • Anthony Zettel, DE, Penn State: Met at East-West Shrine game

 

Defensive Tackles:

Synopsis: To the contrary of the DEs, the Lions have plenty of depth at DT but it would appear to be a highly sought-after position. There is a ton of talent coming out of this year’s draft and there might be a couple players Detroit just can’t pass up in the first. Looking past this upcoming season, the Lions do need an anchor for the future.

  • Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jonathan Bullard, DT, Florida: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech: Met at Senior Bowl, Combine, and an official 30 visit
  • Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska: Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek attended his Pro Day
  • Trevon Coley, DT, Florida Atlantic: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Luther Maddy, DT, Virginia Tech: Met at the Combine
  • Greg Milhouse Jr., DT, Campbell: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss: Met at the Combine
  • Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama: Met at his Pro Day, Combine, and had an official 30 visit
  • A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama: Met at the Combine and had an official 30 visit
  • Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas: Lions had a noticeable presence at his Pro Day
  • Lawrence Thomas, DT, Michigan State: Had an individual Workout
  • Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day

Linebackers:

Synopsis: The Lions could use another LB, but the third linebacker spot is weakening in value every year as the NFL becomes more and more pass happy. It is tough to take anything too significant away from their list of interests. There is an equal amount of early to late round talent at inside and out.

  • Su’a Cravens, OLB, USC: Had an official 30 visit
  • Joe Bolden, ILB, Michigan: Had a Local visit
  • Beniquez Brown, ILB, Mississippi State: Met at Combine
  • Quentin Gause, OLB, Rutgers: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia: Had a Private official 30 visit
  • C.J. Johnson, ILB, Ole Miss: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Deion Jones, OLB, LSU: Had an individual Workout
  • Lamar Louis, OLB, LSU: Had an individual Workout
  • Desmond Morgan, OLB, Michigan: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: Met at Combine
  • James Ross, OLB, Michigan: Had a Local visit
  • Joe Schobert, OLB, Wisconsin: Linebacker coach Bill Sheridan present at pro day
  • Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame: Met at Combine and Pro Day

 

Cornerbacks:

Synopsis: You can never have enough cover-men in the NFL these days. Defensive backs coach Tony Oden has been a busy bee the past few months. Just due to the fact of the sheer number of interviews/meetings, I would surmise that at least one, if not two, CBs will be taken out of Detroit’s ten picks.

  • Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson: Had a private official 30 visit
  • James Bradberry, CB, Samford: Defensive backs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue: Had workout scheduled with Lions
  • Juston Burris, CB, North Carolina State: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Blake Countess, CB, Auburn: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Makinton Dorleant, CB, Northern Iowa: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: Had an official 30 visit
  • Deiondre’ Hall, CB, Northern Iowa: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor: Had official visit scheduled with Lions
  • Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • KeiVarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame: Had a private official to30 visit
  • LeShaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Ryan Smith, CB, North Carolina Central: Lions DB coach attended pro day
  • Frankie Williams, CB, Purdue: Had a workout with teammate CB Brown
  • Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia: Had an individual Workout
  • Tavon Young, CB, Temple: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day

Safeties:

Synopsis: Just like the corners, the Lions are doing their homework on the other half of the secondary. Strong safety has been an obvious target for Detroit, even after the additions of Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush. Both veterans are expected to be more of a special team/depth signing and stopgap starter. Don’t be shocked if the Lions use a day-two pick on one of the following:

  • Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State: Scheduled to meet with Lions
  • Kevin Byard, SS, Middle Tennessee State: Private workout
  • Jeremy Cash, SS, Duke: Met at Combine and the Senior Bowl
  • Sean Davis, S/CB, Maryland: Had meeting with Lions
  • KJ Dillon, SS, West Virginia: Had a Private official 30 visit
  • Antonio Glover, SS, Georgia Southern: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • T.J. Green, S, Clemson: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Jayron Kearse, SS, Clemson: Had an individual visit
  • Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Rolan Milligan, S, Toledo: DBs coach Tony Oden present at pro day
  • Sherrod Neasman, S, Florida Atlantic: Had a private official 30 visit
  • Justin Simmons, FS, Boston College: Met at Combine, Pro Day and East/West Shrine
  • Leviticus Payne, SS, Cincinnati: Had a local visit
  • Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State: Meeting/workout at his Pro Day
  • Jarrod Wilson, FS, Michigan: Had a local visit

 

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