NFL Draft watch - Linemen Edition
As of this moment the Lions would be around pick 11 or 12. We will probably end up around picks 13-15 when the season is all said and done (with a good amount of luck we win out). So, we should be looking at what Draft Claus could bring us this year in the trenches. Here is a list of guys and some observations. Biggest thing right now is to watch these players in their bowl games. For the most part, they will be playing in a bowl game.
Probably out of reach
- Chance Warmack- Will fall from top 5 picks for playing Guard (if he played Left tackle he'd be in the top 5), but shouldn't get out of the top 10.
- Luke Joeckel- First tackle off the board. Not as elite as Matt Kalil in the 2012 draft, but this kid has a high ceiling and has excellent athleticism. He could be the Eagles 1st round pick considering their offensive line woes.
- Taylor Lewan- Will probably be moving up in the draft considering the lack of talent in the QB class for the teams with weak talent at QB. Tough to think with good pass rushers in the league, that a good tackle of this caliber would be a let round selection.By the end of Bowl games, Senior Bowl, the Shrine game and the combine, we could see Lewan's stock rising or falling.
Possible 1st Rounder choices for the Lions
- Jonathan Cooper- Solid Player. That is pretty much all you can say about Cooper. He does everything well. Not as elite as Warmack, but plenty of room for growth and improvement. He is strong, physical and agile. Could be a solid left or right guard to pair up with Reiff.
- Eric Fisher- Recently, has been moving up in the draft, could be a solid Left Tackle and could be great opposite of Reiff, good teams win in the trenches and we can rebuild this line to last a long time. Non BCS school prospect (so some talent level questions), but this guy is big, strong and plays both the run and pass well. Could be a sold LT or RT in the NFL.
Guys to keep in mind in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds
- Dallas Thomas- 6'5" 297lbs- Natural knee bender, has good athleticism and willing to play where ever on the offensive line. Could use to add some bulk, but could be a good 2nd round pick to pair with Reiff on our Lions offensive line.
- Justin Pugh- 6'6" 292lbs- Could be one of the most under-appreciated guys of the draft. He has great tools that could make him a good starter at the next level. He has marginal strength, but has good feet, and very active hands/ first punch. A bit undersized in weight, but could be a steal in the 2nd for the Lions
- Jake Matthews-6'5" 305lbs Son of former pro-bowler Bruce Matthews. Has the pedigree and the size to get it done. But could move into guard and be dominate, but for now it would be good to try him out at right tackle, and with some work(mostly technique) he could shift to the left side.
- Barrett Jones- Plays both Guard and Center. So, versatility is always good to have in o-linemen. Not elite in run or pass blocking, but a solid player and a solid Blue Collar guy. He will bring his lunch pail everyday.
- Larry Warford- Kentucky program are underachievers, but this guy could be the diamond that would be worth the choice in the late 2nd (trade back) or in the 3rd round.
- ODay Aboushi-6'5" 315lbs- Good in pass pro, but struggles to recover when beat. struggles in run blocking
- D J Fluker- 6'6" 335lbs- big guy, but reminds me of Andre Smith (remember him running at his pro day). But could have some upside at R Tackle or guard. I am afraid of this weight and trying to block speed rushers on the right side. He doesn't have the best foot speed or technique. Relies mostly on upper body strength to wall off defenders instead of using speed to redirect them past the pocket. He will have to show his athleticism to improve draft stock.
- Ricky Wagner- 6'6" 317- Not solid at any one position, but has good feet and is technically sound. Doesn't have elite quickness to block on the left, but could be an option on the right. Blue collar guy that has no history of injuries.
- Brian Winters- 6'4" 303 lbs-Played both guard and tackle at Kent State, so could be one of the most athletic guards in the draft. He is a bit undersized with an estimated weight of 305, but he has plenty of room to add bulk.... and could be a steal in the 3rd or 4th round.
- Khaled Holmes- played Center at USC. Was noticeable how far off the grid the USC o-line fell when Khaled was out with an injury. Injuries are a concern, has a lot of growth to do, and he might fit better into a zone blocking system. He isn't a mauler, but definitely a guy to keep an eye on.
- Chris Faulk- 6'6" 315lbs- Late round prospect that could use a year or two in a reserve role to get the hang of big time NFL football. But he has done decently well against the tough DE's in the SEC and has pretty good skill set to fit in as a tackle in the NFL.
Linemen- Defensive (mostly DE's)
4-3 Defensive End
- Demontre Moore- Fantastic DE, could fit into either scheme, reminds me of a younger DeMarcus Ware, but he won't be there by the time the Lions pick.
- Barkevious Mingo- Quick off the edge, but fits the 3-4 OLB scheme better than the 4-3 DE. But he should be gone since pass rushers are like gold in the NFL. He could play with his hand in the dirt for the Lions, but it will be more likely that a 3-4 team will snatch him up.
Guys we could Pick
- Bjoern Werner- Plays great at the Right DE or Left DE. Has a Kyle Vanden Bosch-esque quality about him, which could be good for the Lion's D-line. brings his hard hat and lunch pail every play. Doesn't have elite speed (Jason Pierre Paul type), but he gets good jumps on the snap count and has good flexibility to turn the corner. Mix that with great speed to power moves, he can really get after the passer.
- Dion Jordan- Long, lean DE/OLB. Might be a better fit as a 3-4 OLB, but has room to add bulk and could be a good DE with his hand in the ground for the Lions. Has great speed of the edge, a bit light in the body, but could add a good 20lbs of muscle and really be that speed rusher off the edge. Needs work on developing pass rush moves, but he is very versatile and could add another dimension to our defense when he could drop into coverage in zone blitzes.
- Sam Montgomery- 6'4" 250lb DE. he fits the Right DE position so well. He is big and strong. The only knock are that he had a down year this year (some could say that's because Brockers went pro the year before) and he has good but not elite speed to turn the corner, but has great speed to power and could be that strong side DE for us.
- Corey Lemonier- A guy I particularly like. This 6'4" 247lb DE, is good to great in all categories with plenty of room for improvement. He has a frame to add bulk, his pass rushing abilities are solid with great swim, spin, and other DE techniques. He sometimes has lapses in game tape, but if you were the best player on a crappy Auburn team, you might have problems putting up dominate game tape.
- Eziekel Ansah- As much a mystery as he is an opportunity. He has the frame for the NFL 4-3 DE. at 6'5" 270 lbs, he is raw with technique and football knowledge,but his upside is what is impressive. could be an interesting pick if we move down into the 1st round or up in the 2nd. He could really turn some heads at the combine.
Guys that could be available later (round 2 or 3):
- Tank Carradine- A beast of a DE. Fits that 4-3 Scheme perfectly. Has the size( 6'5" 260lbs) speed and power to be our solid DE for years to come. After tearing his ACL, he would be a project to get healthy and hone his skills. Which is something I don't think we can afford, but if he falls to 3rd round, we could be looking at a steal.
- William Gholston- Inconsistent with effort, but if anyone was going to fix his head it would be Gunther Cunningham. He certainly has the size (6'6" 278), and his pass rushing ability is not elite, but with some technique work, he could be fantastic at LE or RE at the next level.
- Alex Okafor- strong skills, reminds me of Avril. Unpolished, but could be a 3rd or 4th rounder of value
- Malliciah Goodman-Durable, decent size at 6'3 7/8" 276. Has good skills that can be improved upon and might be a mid 2nd to 3rd round gem
- Jackson Jeffcoat- Good initial quickness and has good pass rush skills, just not elite in any one category. Doesn't dominate on an every down basis,and is not a big moment player, but could fit nicely into that 4-3 Left DE. After tearing his Pectoral muscle could make this guy a possibility if he can return to top form.
Guys that could be there at 5-7 and be a Willie Young Type
- Michael Buchanan -6'5" 247lbs- his size and raw skills/instincts could make him worth a look see on the third day of the draft.
- Joe Kruger- 6'7 270lbs- strong guy, not elite (run stopping or pass rushing), but great effort player, but could be a good fit at LDE in the 4-3.
- Craig Roh- 6'5" 265lbs- solid, strong, but doesn't have any super elite qualities about him, but has the size to develop into a solid player on the next level.Plenty of room to add bulk and become a 5 technique 3-4 DE.
- Quanterus Smith - 6'5" 250lbs - could be a fast mover up draft boards and I would have expected him to be a 4-5th rounder because of his production/athleticism, but his small school status drops his draft status down a bit. Pairing that with a torn ACL could push him into the later rounds (5-7).
- Margus Hunt- 6'8" 270lbs- No one knows about his future, but he is a freak athletically, but in the right system he could be a Jared Allen type. If he can develop his football knowledge and experience, then he could be a very interesting player in the next level.
- Devin Taylor- 6'6" 265lbs- Many analysts were expecting a big jump from 2011 to 2012, but so far a disappointment, but he could be a good 7th rounder that could be a L DE with a year of learning and growing under a vet.
- Datone Jones- 6'5" 280lbs- Good size and give very good effort, but shows inconsistent pass rush, lack of pass rush moves (swim, spin, or dip and rip), but could provide great upside with his size and athleticism. He is no where near elite, but he could provide a great option in later rounds, if we decide to address offensive line or secondary needs early in the draft.
on the Next NFL DRAFT Watch: Secondary/ WR & RB