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Detroit Lions 2023 draft watch: 7 players to watch, including Clemson’s Myles Murphy

This Saturday’s Detroit Lions draft watch examines two games with quarterback matchups, a pair of defensive linemen, and a running back in prime time.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Furman at Clemson Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This Saturday’s watch list of college football (September 24) includes two quarterback head-to-head matchups, along with a star defensive lineman from that game, as well as a running back to watch in prime time.

If you missed any of our previous draft watch installments, you can revisit them here:

The featured games on this week’s watchlist include:

  • Clemson (5) at Wake Forest (21) at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Florida (20) at Tennessee (11) at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
  • Arkansas (10) at Texas A&M at 7:00 p.m. Et on ESPN

Alright, let’s get to this week’s players that Detroit Lions fans should be watching.

Clemson at Wake Forest

Quarterback battle: D.J. Uiagalelei (Clem) vs Sam Hartman (WF)

Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (junior)
6-foot-5, 275 pounds

A physically dominating edge, Murphy possesses the power the Lions look for on the edge. With great speed and long arms, he has a perfect NFL frame for the rush position, yet has the versatility to play both the rush and big defensive end in the Lions’ scheme.

Lions fit: If the Lions opt to go back into the edge rusher pool in round one, Murphy would be an impressive addition and would complement Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal in the long-term view.

An excerpt from Dane Brugler’s edge rusher preview:

Murphy is an interesting prospect because he has an NFL body with the play strength to be a true force player, but he isn’t a freak athlete like Travon Walker and lacks the polish of Aidan Hutchinson. However, it is easy to appreciate what Murphy brings each snap as he creates movement with his powerful attack or handles double-teams on the edge.

Florida at Tennessee

Quarterback battle: Anthony Richardson (Fla) vs Hendon Hooker (Tenn)

Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida (junior)
6-foot-6, 315 pounds

A monster in the middle, Dexter's game is drenched in power but he also has pass-rushing range and understands how to use leverage in spite of his height. He’s still a bit raw, but the potential is super appealing, as is his positional range. He can live at the 1 or 3-techniques, and Florida has even put him on the edge a handful of times, though that likely won’t be something he does in the NFL.

Lions fit: Pairing Dexter with Alim McNeill would give the Lions an interior duo capable of being interchangeable pass rushing 1/3T’s with power for days.

An excerpt from Dane Brugler’s top-50 preview:

“As a pass rusher, Dexter uses his forward lean to uproot, drive his feet and create movement. And as a run defender, Dexter has the long arms to maintain separation and the body control to unwind from blockers. Watching Dexter’s sophomore film at Florida brought back flashbacks of Chris Jones at Mississippi State — a tall, physical athlete with flashes of big-time potential.”

Arkansas at Texas A&M

Devon Achane, RB, TAMU (junior)
5-foot-9, 185 pounds

Blessed with elite sprinter speed, Achane can hit home runs from anywhere on the field. He is a bit small in stature but he runs with great balance, keeps great pad level, and hits the gap downhill in a manner that would make Lions assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley proud. Achane also has soft hands as a receiver, allowing him to contribute on all three downs, and can be a weapon as a kick returner.

Lions fit: The Lions need a player capable of replicating what D’Andre Swift can do out of the backfield and Achane fits the bill. His ability to contribute on special teams is a bonus.

An excerpt from Dane Brugler’s running backs preview:

“With his lateral quickness and quick-scan vision, Achane is a really intriguing ball carrier. But he has a ridiculous home-run gear to cut and accelerate, which makes him one of the most dangerous runners in the sport. Unsurprisingly, Achane is also a member of the Aggies’ track team and ran a blazing 10.14 in the 100-meter dash and 20.20 in the 200-meter dash this past spring.”

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