In the 2008 NFL Draft -- Matt Millen's last as Lions general manager -- Purdue's Cliff Avril was picked 92nd overall. Few picks made by Millen in later parts of the draft (Avril was taken toward the end of the third round) have done all that much in their NFL careers, but Avril appears to be one of the exceptions.
In his three seasons with the Lions, Avril has had a total of eight forced fumbles and 19 sacks. He had five sacks during his rookie season despite starting in only four games (he played in 15). In 2009, he had 5.5 sacks and increased his tackle total from 18 to 27. He also started in 11 games and appeared in 13 in 2009. Last year, Avril had a breakout season, recording 8.5 sacks in only 13 games and becoming the Lions' top pass-rushing defensive end.
While his body of work is small in comparison to some other guys on this list, Avril's potential going forward is very high, especially with all of the talent around him on the Lions' defensive line. For being the 92nd pick in 2008, he has already shown a lot of great things, and if he continues to improve in the future as he has done the last few years, the sky is the limit for him.
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