The Detroit Lions are getting a close look at a lot of the talent the Senior Bowl has to offer, and over the past few days of practice some local Michigan prospects are starting to make some noise.
Michigan’s Josh Uche has started to display his versatility, both as an edge defender and as a cover linebacker, and he’s turning the heads of some draft analysts.
Michigan’s Josh Uche locking down Purdue’s Brycen Hopkins pic.twitter.com/Zk3Iwr9t78— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 22, 2020
“The speed of Uche is consistently stressing out blockers during Senior Bowl drills,” The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote in his Day 2 winners article (subscription required). “He wins with immediate explosion that blockers simply cannot account for in space, introducing his long arms to stay on path to the quarterback.”
Not to be outdone, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes has also earned some praise for his work this week.
And a good rep from Willekes: pic.twitter.com/4KMHR69L82— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) January 22, 2020
Willekes is spending the week doing a little position adjustment, as noted by the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett.
“A 4-3 defensive end during his four seasons at Michigan State football, Willekes has spent the week at the Senior Bowl rushing the quarterback out of a two-point stance,” Birkett wrote.
.@MSU_Football's Kenny Willekes at it again. Blows up Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins and Baylor RB Jamycal Hasty all at once.#SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/69eKPVdbsW— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 22, 2020
Just a reminder, both Willekes and Uche were players we noted to watch for in our Senior Bowl Primer PODcast.
- Bad news for Javon Kinlaw fans hoping to get a closer look at him this weekend. His tendinitis flared up in his knees and he’s taking the rest of the Senior Bowl—including Saturday’s game—off:
After a dominant two days, South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw is done for the week at the Senior Bowl, sources say. He’s been dealing with a little tendinitis in one of his knees. Just being smart with a first-round talent.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 23, 2020
- Tim Twentyman had a Q&A with Lions vice president of player personnel Kyle O’Brien. If I’m being completely honest, there’s not a lot there, but it’s not every day we get to hear from O’Brien.
- Darius Slay is happy to be at the Pro Bowl with Kenny Golladay, but believes his teammate should have been there from the beginning (not as a replacement):
Should have been there from the jump.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 23, 2020
A message from @_bigplayslay23. #OnePride pic.twitter.com/adFkGttkUN
- Kyle Meinke has a great story on new offensive line coach Hank Fraley and how he’s still trying to learn from Jeff Davidson, who is stepping down this year. It also has a great story on Detroit giving Fraley the game ball after beating the Eagles, his former team.
- Former Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson must have made a good enough impression in his one year with the Raiders. He has reportedly signed to an extension with Oakland:
The #Raiders signed CB Nevin Lawson, who emerged as a starter for them last year, to a one-year contract extension worth $3.29M, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 23, 2020
- In case you missed it from Wednesday, Matt Patricia was mic’d up at Senior Bowl practices and the censors were a little late with the mute button. WARNING: NSFW language:
Trouble on the snap exchange = angry Patricia.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) January 22, 2020
WARNING: NSFW language. pic.twitter.com/nIYpahDPPj
Matt Patricia was mic'd up for Senior Bowl practice. He gave ESPN's drop-button operator a workout. Funny stuff.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 22, 2020
VIDEO: ESPNU pic.twitter.com/MnyWgDL0pG