The Pro Day circuit is a whirlwind at times, and it was wild trying to keep track of everyone the Lions showed any serious interest in. Simply showing up at pro days isn’t going to be enough to take note of, as the team was present at a very high percentage of pro days and that’s simply too many players to name.
Instead, we’ve taken a look at anyone the Lions reportedly met with outside of the bounds of the regular Pro Day interactions and who they worked out, either invited to participate during the Pro Day or privately before or after. It gives us a good picture of the types of players the Lions are showing interest in the draft, so we’ve put together a list and brief description of each.
(Prospects sorted by position)
Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State
The only true QB on this list, the Lions reportedly met with Briscoe at his pro day. A high volume passer who threw for nearly 12,000 yards and 120 TDs in his collegiate career, Briscoe may be the rookie we’re expecting to join Jake Rudock and Matt Cassel in camp this year.
Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
The team reportedly met with both Georgia backs at their pro day after having met with both at the NFL Combine. The draft range for each is about the same, Day 2, and I’d expect both to get heavy consideration.
Derrius Guice, RB, Louisiana State
A possible first or second-round selection, the Lions put Guice through a film session at his pro day after meeting with him at the Combine. The interest is not surprising and Guice has been the most mocked player to the Lions for quite a long time.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
The Lions presumably met with Johnson at the Combine, though he did not work out there. It’s likely that they met with him at his pro day, which they attended, though no meeting was reported. The team did set up a top 30 visit with Johnson recently, though, so if they missed him the other times then they will get their chance.
Donnie Ernsberger, FB, Western Michigan
The Lions sent new tight ends coach Chris White to Western Michigan’s pro day, where he worked out their fullback, Donnie Ernsberger. With great size at his position, he offers some versatility to move around a formation, but like most fullbacks these days, that isn’t a lot.
Brandon Bean, WR, Grand Valley State
Though used as a deep threat at GVSU, Bean projects as a late-round or UDFA possession receiver in the pros. At the very worst, he’s likely to get a camp invite. Lions met with him at his pro day.
Keith Kirkwood, WR, Temple
The first of what would become a pro day trend, the Lions met with the tall, speedy Kirkwood at his pro day. At over 6-foot-2, Kirkwood ran a 4.45 in the 40, which I mention only because it’s going to come up again.
Devin Gray, WR, Cincinnati
The only sub 6-foot wide receiver I’ve seen linked to the Lions, Gray ran a blazing 4.41 at his pro day where the Lions met with him.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Central Florida
The Lions met with the Day 2 receiver prospect at his pro day and had a private workout. At just under 6-foot-2 and a 4.49 40-yard dash at the Combine, Smith joined in what was becoming a trend for the type of receivers the Lions were looking for this year. Smith is expected to go as early as the second round, and is unlikely to last far past the Lions pick in the third round at the latest.
Javon Wims, WR, Georgia
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Wims measured in at over 6-foot-2 and ran a good 4.53 at the Combine, which he reportedly matched at his pro day. They appear to have a type.
Vyncint Smith, WR, Limestone
At 6-foot-3 and an unofficial 4.36 in the 40, Smith is another tall and fast receiver the Lions worked out at his pro day. Projected as an undrafted free agent, Smith put on a show for scouts and may have put himself firmly on Day 3 boards.
Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State
At 6-foot-2 and a 4.55 40-yard dash, Wilson is yet another taller receiver with good speed the Lions have looked into. They sent WR coach Robert Prince to check out the entire receiving corps, but Wilson was the only player that was paid close attention. A possible mid-to-late Day 3 prospect, Wilson would likely sit a year before taking on WR3/WR4 duties in 2019.
Brock Barr, WR, Boise State
Montell Cozart, QB/WR, Boise State
Alec Dhaenens, TE, Boise State
Jake Roh, TE, Boise State
As mentioned, the Lions wide receiver coach was on hand for the entire BSU contingent at their pro day. I don’t see any as draftable prospects, but they’re guys to watch out for camp invites.
Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan
The Lions met with practically every tight end on the pro day circuit, but Tyler Conklin is one worth paying special attention to. He’ll likely return for the team’s local workout, so he may be one of those players the team doesn’t appear to show much interest in but is targeted late in the draft anyway.
Chris Herndon, TE, Miami
Herndon is one of the many late-round tight end prospects the Lions have spoken with on the pro day circuit. More of an outlet receiver than a red-zone threat or field spreader, Herndon is likely to be selected late Day 3 or end up in camp as a UDFA.
Ben Johnson, TE, Kansas
The Lions were one of 13 teams to work out Johnson after his pro day. Though not the fastest, he shows good movements kills for a player his size and is likely to receive late day three consideration.
Ryan Smith, TE, Miami (OH)
Though he had some okay production, Smith projects solely as a blocking specialist in the NFL much in the same vein as former Lions tight end Will Heller. He is a UDFA prospect that the team met with who may sneak into the last couple rounds.
Deon Yelder, TE, Western Kentucky
An intriguing H-back type that is likely to go earlier on Day 3 than he is currently projected, Yelder is one of the few tight ends to post impressive athletic numbers in this draft class. He met with the Lions at his pro day, and he’s one to get familiar with from what I’ve heard.
Jordan Aikens, TE, Central Florida
Another H-back type the Lions met with at his pro day, Akins will be a 26-year-old rookie, so he carries significant risk as a draft pick. That didn’t stop Mel Kiper from putting him in the second round, but I’d be more comfortable with his more common seventh-round projection.
Matthew Gono, OG, Wesley
After having met with him at his pro day, the Lions scheduled an official visit with the uber-talented guard from Wesley. The team was so impressed that they would meet with him again a few weeks later, and he’s a Day 3 prospect to pay very close attention to. Several other NFC North teams, as well as other clubs, have shown interest, and Gono may be a hot commodity after the first few rounds have completed.
Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan
One of the most underrated pass rushers in this draft class, Ostman worked out with Lions linebackers coach Al Golden at CMU’s pro day.
Lyndon Johnson, DE, Cincinnati
Johnson isn’t an elite athlete, nor was he very productive in the American Conference. Still, he has excellent size and the Lions were reportedly one of several teams that showed interest at his pro day. He’ll likely be undrafted and end up in camp as a UDFA.
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
His pro day wasn’t the first time the Lions met with Sam Hubbard, as they spoke with him at length at the Combine. Still, his pro day may have been the best impression as he posted an official cone time under 7.00 seconds, which is a great indicator of NFL success. He’s a likely Day 2 target who could sneak into round one.
Justin Lawler, DE, Southern Methodist
Though not super productive, Lawler put up decent numbers for SMU and improved each season. He met with the Lions at his Pro Day along with several other teams. Lawler has prototypical DE size, but his unofficial metrics at SMU pro day were less than ideal.
Chad Thomas, DE, Miami
Yet another end with typical 3-4 end size, Thomas had decent if unspectacular production for Miami and is likely a late Day 3 or UDFA prospect that the Lions met with at his pro day.
Arden Key, DE, Louisiana State
Key met with Lions head coach Matt Patricia at LSU’s pro day. With red flags coming out of his ears already, Key underwhelmed at his pro day where he came out with poorly timed speed to go with his laundry list of concerns that include drugs, rehab, injuries, and maturity issues. Once a highly thought of prospect, I’ve seen reports he won’t go before the fourth round, but it’s anyone’s guess.
Joshua Frazier, DT, Alabama
One of Alabama’s big heavies, Frazier doesn’t offer a whole lot in terms of athletic upside, but is likely going to be ready to work into the rotation Day 1 as most Alabama DL are. He met with the Lions at his pro day.
Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
Nearly everyone has shown interest in Shepherd at some point. Though overaged as a prospect (he will be a 25-year-old rookie), he’s athletic and, briefly, dominated top prospects in Senior Bowl practices. Shepherd will be visiting the Lions on Wednesday.
Kentavius Street, DT, North Carolina State
A tweener at DT, Street projects best as an end in three down lineman looks. The Lions met with him at his pro day along with other NC State players. Unfortunately, Street would suffer an ACL injury at a later workout.
Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State
The Lions also met with Justin Jones at the NC State pro day. More of a traditional defensive tackle than Street, Jones is considered a mid-to-late round prospect.
B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State
There weren’t reports of the Lions meeting with Hill at his Pro Day, but on top of attending his pro day and meeting his linemates, the Lions interviewed Hill at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine. The athletic big man is projected to go very early Day 2 of the draft.
Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware
The Lions were one of several teams that expressed interest in the super athletic Delaware product. After posting a very strong NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.95 40 yard dash at 306 pounds, he would go on to post good to great numbers in both explosion and agility drills at his pro day.
Frankie Luvu, LB, Washington State
The first official visit that was reported for the Lions, Luvu is a late round or preferred free agent rush linebacker prospect.
Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State
The Detroit Lions are one of a handful of teams that seem to like Leonard as a sleeper prospect in this draft, and put him through a film session at his pro day.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
After meeting with him at his pro day, the Lions scheduled an official visit with the supremely athletic Boise State product. While there’s an outside chance he slips outside of the first round, there’s almost no chance he slips far enough for the Lions to nab him at 51, meaning it would take their first-round pick to secure him.
Amari Coleman, CB, Central Michigan
While he didn’t work out as his teammate did, Amari Coleman met with the Lions at CMU’s pro day. While undersized, Coleman has good speed and has very good explosion, which projects well as both a man and zone defender.
Malik Boynton, CB, Austin Peay
The Detroit native met with the Lions at his pro day. Aside from being a multi-sport athlete and being a local, there’s not much that I know about him.
Darius Allensworth, CB, California
An undersized CB who ran a 4.69 40-yard dash at his pro day is probably not super exciting, but the Lions met with California’s Darius Allensworth “at length” at his pro day.
Mike Ford, CB, Southeast Missouri State
Devin Fitzsimmons, the Lions assistant special teams coach, ran some of the workouts at Southeast Missouri State’s pro day and met with Ford at some point on the day.
Justin Reid, FS, Stanford
The first early-round prospect that the Lions scheduled for a top 30 visit, Justin Reid could very quietly be one of the best picks in the class. Not as talked about as much as Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reid could be the safest pick of the three. Safe doesn’t make headlines, though.
Trayvon Henderson, FS, Hawaii
One of the most prolific tacklers at defensive back in this draft class, the Lions met with the uber talented Henderson at his pro day. Henderson is a Day 3 prospect that the team could view as a long-term successor to Glover Quin or Tavon Wilson.
A.J. Howard, FS, Appalachian State
The undersized safety prospect posted good speed scores at his pro day, but I doubt he ends up being drafted on Day 3. The Lions met with him at his pro day and much like others I’ve mentioned is a possible successor to Glover Quin.
Damon Webb, SS, Ohio State
Webb reportedly met with the Lions at his Pro Day. Likely not fast or instinctive enough to play corner, even in nickel packages, Webb is another Detroit native the team is likely looking at for a late-round pickup or UDFA signing.