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2019 Draft Watch: 4 prospects the Lions could target during Week 4

Today, we highlight four draft-eligible prospects that the Lions could target in the upcoming draft.

NCAA Football: Samford at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

EDGE Brian Burns (Florida State) | 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Junior

Northern Illinois at Florida State | 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPNU

Despite Florida State’s early struggles this year, Brian Burns remains a bright spot for the Seminoles. At 235 pounds, Burns is a bit thin for the position, so he’ll need to pack on a few pounds if he wants to stay in there on running downs, but his athleticism and pass rushing skills are why he’s being talked about as a top-10 pick right now.

Burns exhibits a variety of moves to get to the quarterback, and has the fluidity and flexibility to contort his way around opposing tackles consistently. Of his notable pass rushing moves, Burns’ spin move is probably his most notable and deadly move, which he put on display in Week 1 against Virginia Tech.

I don’t know what’s more impressive, the spin move or the ability to redirect his eyes and change directions after the spin move to bring the quarterback down. Burns is the type of pass rusher and athlete the Lions desperately need on the edge, and sadly, while Burns might hear is name called early in the draft, that could be where the Lions are picking.

IDL Raekwon Davis (Alabama) 6-foot-7, 317 pounds, Junior

#22 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. EST on CBS

Either you’re sick of Alabama prospects because of A’Shawn Robinson or you don’t really care and you’re pretty excited about how Da’Shawn Hand is performing as a rookie so far. I tend to not believe in the horse crap theory of “never draft a player from (enter school here) because we haven’t had much luck there,” because every player is different. I seriously had someone tell me that they wouldn’t even consider looking at Duke linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, because Laken Tomlinson didn’t work out for us, and there haven’t been many good players to come from Duke’s football program. Um, okay.

Davis is a monster, physically, and it often takes two defenders to impede him, sometimes even three. Some have compared Davis—due to his size and skill—to 49ers defensive lineman, DeForest Buckner who is fresh off of a dominating performance against Frank Ragnow and the rest of the Lions’ O-line.

Davis is a work in progress as a pass rusher but shows signs of dominance with his raw strength and also does a nice job of getting underneath the pads of opposing O-linemen despite his height. With some work with former Alabama DL coach Bo Davis, Davis could see his potential unlocked with the Lions.

Raekwon Davis showed up huge during Alabama’s biggest games last year. We are still waiting for any Lions interior D-lineman to show up at any time this year.

LB Devin White (LSU) 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, Junior

Louisiana Tech at #6 LSU | 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPNU

I left White off of my watch list from last week when highlighting last week’s LSU game because I hadn’t really watched any film on him yet, so I decided to follow my own advice and give that game a watch. It was hard not to notice White, who was flying around the field and constantly near the ball at the end of every play.

The most notable play came on an important fourth-and-1, where White blew up the play and caused a turnover on downs, then celebrated with Cam Newton’s own “Superman” pose to the Auburn crowd.

The range and athleticism jump at you when watching White, and those traits are huge in today’s prototype NFL off-ball linebacker. However, in a way, White reminds me a little of Jarrad Davis at times with his hesitance and recklessness in pursuit. White is prone to missing a tackle or two and occasionally overcommits on fakes.

S Jaquon Johnson (Miami) 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Senior

FIU at #21 Miami (FL) | 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2

With the Lions’ secondary not performing all that well to start the year, Glover Quin appearing to “lose a step” and Tavon Wilson getting abused by the opposing team creating mismatches against him, the safety position shot up pretty high on the list of needs for Detroit.

Unfortunately, Johnson may not be able to play in today’s game against FIU, but I still wanted to take this chance to talk about one of my early favorite prospects in the draft, at a position that the Lions may be coveting early. Make sure that when you do get a chance, to give Johnson a watch.

Johnson is your typical, versatile safety that can move around the field and step up into man coverage if need be. He’s also very opportunistic and gravitates toward Miami’s infamous “Turnover Chain,” forcing seven turnovers last year (four INTs and three forced fumbles).

The Lions could really use an athletic safety and big-time playmaker on this defense, and I think Jaquan Johnson would be a fantastic fit for their secondary. Whether he suits up or not today, keep an eye out for him the rest of the year. It’ll be hard to miss him.

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