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ODU defensive tackle Rashaad Coward meets with Lions

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The Lions continue to look at smaller school players they may bring into camp this fall, this time meeting a gigantic DT from ODU.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Old Dominion Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

After meeting with several other small school prospects during this draft season, Bob Quinn’s Detroit Lions continue to burn the midnight oil, meeting with an intriguing interior defensive player at Old Dominion’s Pro Day, according to Dave Birkett. Rashaad Coward is a mountain of a main standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in over 320 pounds with more room to grow on his frame. He’s a big boy, so my thoughts immediately turned to him playing that sort of 0 and 1 technique nose tackle type only to be wowed when I saw his workout numbers and tape.

More than an inch taller and 15 pounds bigger than Detroit Lions’ starting defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, Coward measured with a first step quicker than Haloti Ngata when he burst into the league. His Relative Athletic Score is incomplete since we did not receive agility numbers or broad jump, but size and speed alone are going to perk up teams ears to see if this guy can play.

Though he only amassed 4.0 total sacks at Old Dominion over his three years of play, he posted a healthy 7.5 tackles for a loss his final season (14.5 over his career) and 136 career tackles. The level of competition is certainly going to be a concern for teams as they try to figure out who Rashaad Coward is as a player and how long it will take him to come along. He’s currently rated as an undrafted free agent in scouting circuits, but he could have a similar rise as Sammie Lee Hill, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 draft and was also drafted for size and speed. Coward is just as big as Hill was but is significantly quicker and faster. This is a name to watch late in the draft, and even if he goes undrafted, he is likely to find his way into a training camp immediately following the 2017 NFL draft.