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Detroit Lions 2024 draft watch: 8 players to watch, including WR Roman Wilson

This Saturday’s Detroit Lions 2024 NFL draft watch examines seven players to watch.

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Michigan v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

This week’s Detroit Lions draft watch focuses on four games, including the classic Red River Rivalry and the top two teams in the country.

Here are this week’s games:

  • Oklahoma (12) at Texas (3) at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Alabama (11) at Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
  • Kentucky (20) at Georgia (1) at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Michigan (2) at Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Let’s get a closer look at this week’s players that Lions fans should be watching.

Oklahoma (12) at Texas (3)

Tyler Guyton, OL, Oklahoma (Redshirt Junior)

6-foot-6, 327 pounds

An excerpt from The Athletic’s preseason top 50, Nick Baumgardner ($):

“Guyton signed with TCU as an extremely long, somewhat skinny (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) defensive lineman in 2020. He began his transition to the offensive line shortly after that, playing as an extra tackle/TE/H-back in 2021. He even caught a touchdown pass that year.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Guyton transferred to Oklahoma. Though he’s made just five career starts at offensive tackle, his length, bend, athletic recovery and general movement skills are pretty ridiculous for a guy his size. He still has much to work on, though, including punch accuracy and general efficiency in the run game.

How he’d fit with the Lions:

Even though he has finally found his groove at right tackle, he has the size and athleticism to possibly operate inside at guard as well, which is where the Lions would likely consider him.

T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas (Senior)

6-foot-4, 346 pounds

An excerpt from Anthon Sports’ Kyle Crabbs’ profile of Sweat:

“I’m not sure the ceiling for Sweat is going to create enough demand for him to be a highly coveted first-round prospect. That said, there’s an inherent value with today’s defensive trends that makes a player like Sweat a meaningful piece for an NFL defense. Forget about adding pass rush value; Sweat can help you change the numbers in the box and your ability to defend the run, while simultaneously allowing your defense to leverage against explosive plays.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

Yes, Brodric Martin is waiting in the wings to develop into the Lions’ future nose tackle, but the Lions like to rotate their nose tackles, and adding another massive body to the trenches has to be worth considering.

Alabama (11) at Texas A&M

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama (Junior)

An excerpt from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler preseason EDGE rankings ($):

“Whether he is chasing in the run game or rushing the quarterback, Turner plays with freaky speed. He explodes off the snap with natural body bend, length and ankle flexion to set up various rush moves. Even though his technical skill is a work in progress, his bursts of speed give him an advantage over most blockers that he will face in the SEC.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

Okay, Turner could find himself atop the EDGE class when this season is all wrapped up. That may put him out of contention as a realistic option for the Lions. But a player this talented at a premium spot needs to be assessed just in case he does end up within their reach.

Tony Grimes, CB, Texas A&M (North Carolina transfer, Senior)

6-foot-0, 190 pounds

An excerpt from The Draft Network’s Ryan Fowler’s profile of Grimes:

“Tony Grimes is an impressive cover corner that has the traits to become a high-level impact defender. As a fluid, long athlete, he can consistently challenge wide receivers on the outside. At North Carolina, Grimes played in a zone-heavy scheme where he is patient and touted the spatial awareness to limit anything in his area. A long strider with an explosive trigger, Grimes’ speed and hand usage allow him to constantly remain in-phase with wideouts.

“In man, his wingspan can overwhelm receivers. He plays with a low center of gravity and rarely takes a false step that allows separation. As a good athlete, Grimes has an advanced level of awareness at full speed to escort receivers to the boundary and instincts to swat passes out of the air when targeted in deeper portions. Ball production potential is high.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

College players who started under current Lions coaches in the past are always worth exploring and Grimes spent a lot of time learning under Lions CB coach Dre Bly when the pair were at North Carolina. If anyone is going to know Grimes’ strengths, weaknesses, and draft value, it’s Bly.

Kentucky (20) at Georgia (1)

Ray Davis, RB, Kentucky (Senior)

5-foot-9, 216 pounds

An excerpt from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s 10 underrated prospects ($):

“One of the best running back tapes this season comes from what Davis did to the Florida defense this past Saturday (280 rushing yards, four total touchdowns). With his instinctive run style and athletic urgency, he created several explosive plays and left missed tackles all over the field. Davis has overcome a considerable amount of adversity in his life and is one of the best success stories in this year’s draft class.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

With David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs locked up for the next three years, drafting a running back won’t be a priority, but finding a back that fits the system on Day 3 will help solidify the room. Davis’ explosive plays are a ton of fun to watch and would be even more fun in Detroit.

Sedrick Van Pran, IOL, Georgia (Junior)

6-foot-4, 315 pounds

An excerpt from Anthon Sports’ Kyle Crabbs’ profile of Van Pran:

“Van Pran is a highly experienced center who offers an effective mix of power and mobility. He’s a viable starting option for an NFL franchise upon his entry into the league thanks to his learned experiences over three years of starting for Georgia.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

Van Pran will be considered one of the top centers in this draft class, but his movement skills and bullying mentality would make him a fun fit at guard in Detroit's blocking scheme.

Michigan (2) at Minnesota

Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota (Senior)

6-foot-2, 210 pounds

An excerpt from Anthon Sports’ Kyle Crabbs’ profile of Nubin:

“Nubin checks a number of important boxes for a projection to the NFL. He’s a long and physical safety who has illustrated plus instincts. He exudes confidence on the field, too; I love the swagger he carries himself with. There’s little doubt in my mind that this will be an impactful defensive starter and a vocal leader of an NFL defense.”

How he’d fit with the Lions:

He’s going to land at the top of the grit list for safeties, and when you couple that with his range of coverage skills, he’s probably going to end up high on the Lions board. Length, ball skills, swagger, confidence: you name something defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn likes, and Nubin probably has it in his bag.

Roman Wilson, WR, Michigan (Senior)

6-foot-0, 192 pounds

An excerpt from Brugler’s September risers ($):

“Wilson was well liked by NFL scouts coming into the season, but now it feels like the Hawaii native won’t make it out of the top 100 picks.

“He’s the best senior receiver I’ve seen,” one NFL scout said.

“Working mostly out of the slot, Wilson is tied for the FBS lead with six touchdown catches, and 86.7 percent of his receptions have resulted in a touchdown or first down. Along with his outstanding long speed (10.68-second 100-meter dash state champion in high school), he has the short-area quickness to snap off routes and create his own separation.”

Here’s another angle of that catch:

How he’d fit with the Lions:

With inside-out flexibility, in-route quickness, and tremendous speed, Wilson has traits that several current Lions receivers possess and he fits their offensive scheme perfectly. I like Wilson and his fit for the Lions for a lot of the same reasons I liked Jayden Reed last draft. The wide-ranging skill set and field-stretching speed could open up the Lions offense.

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