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2016 NFL Draft: 10 mid/late-round sleepers the Lions should target

Here are 10 potential targets for the Detroit Lions to consider in the later rounds.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports


OC Evan Boehm (Missouri) | 6-foot-2, 309 pounds

If the Detroit Lions are looking to wait and add a center late in the draft, they should look no further than Missouri's Evan Boehm. In the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Travis Swanson as a project pick in hopes that he would develop behind Dominic Raiola and replace him as a starter. After an unimpressive 2015 campaign, the Lions are already looking to add some competition at center and challenge Swanson for his starting job.

Boehm is considered to be an early Day 3 prospect and is lauded for his leadership and durability. He started in 52 straight games for the Tigers and holds the school record for consecutive starts. Boehm is a phone-booth blocker and a perfect fit for the Lions who seem to be moving back to a power-blocking scheme.

TE David Morgan II (Texas-San Antonio) | 6-foot-4, 262 pounds

Morgan is your typical "lunch pail" fringe prospect that does everything right on the field, but his lack of size and speed will cause him to go in the later rounds. What the Lions need at tight end isn't a burner or a game changer in the passing game. They need someone who can strengthen the run game with their blocking ability. David Morgan is arguably one of the best blocking TEs in this draft and his reliable hands in the passing game are just an added bonus.

Morgan's 29 bench reps at this year's NFL Combine were the most of any TE not weighing over 400 pounds. He's a tenacious blocker with advanced technique for his position. According to Pro Football Focus' 2016 NFL Draft guide, Morgan's 4.26 percent drop rate was 5th-best in this year's class.

QB Brandon Allen (Arkansas) | 6-foot-1, 217 pounds

The Lions could certainly use a developmental QB on their roster and there are several late-round options that they've already met with prior to the draft. One of those names is Arkansas QB Brandon Allen, who hasn't drawn much attention from many NFL Draft analysts.

This year's QB class has developed an awful reputation due to the lack of top-tier prospects and the amount of legitimate developmental QBs to choose from on Saturday will be lacking as well. Allen is one of the few QB prospects that I actually think has a shot in the NFL, and after an impressive performance at his pro day, I could see the Lions spending a fifth or sixth round pick to secure him as Matthew Stafford's backup.

OT Caleb Benenoch (UCLA) | 6-foot-5, 311 pounds

The Lions hosted Benenoch for a pre-draft visit and could be looking to bring him in as their starting right tackle. He is an explosive athlete and was one of two tackles to run a sub-5.00 40-yard dash at the combine. Expect him to be off the board by the third or fourth round.

WR Mike Thomas (Southern Mississippi) | 6-foot-1, 200 pounds

Despite signing Marvin Jones in free agency, the Lions may be looking to add an extra deep threat to help stretch the field for Jim Bob Cooter's offense. Mike Thomas is one of my draft crushes this year and I believe he can turn into a very good pro. Here is my full report on the So. Miss. standout.


CB James Bradberry (Samford) | 6-foot-1, 211 pounds

Here's a guy that no one's really talking about. Bradberry is a very intriguing prospect with great athleticism for his size. He's not quite a polished product and benefited from playing against weaker competition, but teams will be targeting him as early as the third or fourth round on his physical traits alone.

Bradberry projects into the NFL as a zone or press corner and looks extremely uncomfortable when asked to play off-man. I could also see Bradberry being asked to play safety due to his discipline in run support. He may not make an immediate impact in the NFL, but I can see him potentially winning a starting role with the right coaching.

Also, shout out to SideLion Report's Erik Schlitt who put together a nice piece on breaking down this year's CB prospects and determining who might meet Bob Quinn's thresholds coming from the Patriots organization. (Spoiler alert: James Bradberry makes the cut).

CB/S Taveze Calhoun (Mississippi State) | 6-foot-0, 192 pounds

Calhoun is listed as a cornerback on virtually every media outlet, but I think he offers so much more as a safety. His footwork is far too heavy in man coverage and his long speed is atrocious. On the bright side, Calhoun is extremely efficient in run support and does a remarkable job of consistently wrapping up. currently has Calhoun projected as an undrafted free agent, but I believe he's a solid value pick in the sixth or seventh round as a backup safety and/or special teams contributor.

The Lions hosted Calhoun to a private workout in early April.

DE Matt Judon (Grand Valley State) | 6-foot-3, 275 pounds

Matt Judon is a local prospect that has gained plenty of hype from Lions fans after terrorizing Division II teams throughout his career. He's amassed a few different injuries to his lower body which has affected his ability to bend around the edge, limiting his upside as a pass rusher.

The Lions have met with Judon twice already and may use one of their seven picks on Day 3 to take him on as a project.

S K.J. Dillon (West Virginia) | 6-foot-0, 210 pounds

K.J. Dillon is another prospect that the Lions hosted for a pre-draft visit. currently projects him as a late Day 3 pick. Here's what they had to say about Dillon:

Athletic safety who flashes enough ability high and low to believe that he won’t be pigeon­holed as one type of safety or another. Dillon has the athleticism and ball skills to help in man coverage and enough awareness from the high safety spot to handle his duties. Dillon has allowed entirely too many missed or broken tackles over the last couple of seasons, but that can be improved with more muscle on his frame and a more technique-­driven approach. Intriguing prospect with developmental traits.

DT Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State) | 6-foot-1, 309 pounds

Last but not least, we have Javon Hargrave, who I am a huge fan of. I may be cheating here slightly because I think there's a strong chance that he's off the board earlier than expected, but with there being so much depth at DT this year, I can definitely see him being a steal in the third or fourth round.

Hargrave benefited from dominating weaker competition and his tape vs. UAPB is one of the best performances I have ever seen. Hargrave is very explosive and uses his short height to consistently gain leverage on his opponents. You'll be hearing a lot about Hargrave on Sundays.

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