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Notes: Local Michigan products making good impressions at Senior Bowl

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A couple of local Michigan defenders are helping their draft stock this week. (But not the one pictured here)

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

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.

“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.

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.

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:

  • 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):

  • 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:

  • 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: