Lions to hold workout for local NFL prospects

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Lions are holding a workout today for local NFL prospects, something teams do each year to add information about players to their database.

Among the 23 participants are players from Michigan State, Michigan, Central Michigan, Wayne State and Saginaw Valley State. The Lions will announce the full list of participants later Wednesday.

A couple of Michigan State's top prospects, running back Jeremy Langford and wide receiver Tony Lippett, traveled to Lions headquarters for the event, but they said they didn't expect to work out.

Former Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess also is in attendance, but won't be participating. Quarterback Devin Gardner, who's transitioning to wide receiver, will be working out.

The 6-foot-4 Funchess is a potential first-round pick, but he could slip into the second round with concerns about his hands and long speed.

Langford and Lippett are harder to project in the draft. Langford could go as early as Round 3, especially after he ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash as the combine. But he's a part of a loaded running back class, and it remains to be seen just how much value teams will put on that position in the draft this year.

On a teleconference Tuesday, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said he likes Langford and thinks he's being overlooked in the draft because of Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Georgia's Todd Gurley, both of whom could be first-round picks.

Langford said he's had pre-draft visits with the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so clearly he's generating interest.

The 6-foot-2 Lippett is a likely early Day 3 pick. Even though he was highly productive in 2014, some teams consider cornerback to be his best fit in the NFL because he can use his length to be a solid defender.

Michigan State linebacker Mylan Hicks and Syracuse defensive tackle Eric Crume, a graduate of Detroit Central, are also in attendance.

Here's a look at the participants in the Lions workout:

• Justice Akuezue, Wayne State, DE

• Marcus Beaurem, Tiffin, WR

• Brennen Beyer, Michigan, DE

• Rob Bolden, Eastern Michigan, QB

• Deon Butler, Central Michigan, TE

• Marcus Cribbs, Ferris State, DT

• Eric Crume, Syracuse, DT

• Gerren Duhart, Wayne State, CB

• Devin Gardner, Michigan, WR

• Mylan Hicks, Michigan State, LB/S

• Delonte Hollowell, Michigan, CB

• Marcell Jones, Wayne State, LB

• Mike Kinville, Central Michigan, TE

• Nathan Lindsey, Fort Hays State (Kansas), S

• Desmond Martin, Wayne State, HB

• Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa, WR

• Dior Mathis, Oregon, CB

• Will Schwarz, Saginaw Valley State, DE

• Raymon Taylor, Michigan, CB

• Earnest Thomas III, Illinois, S

• Leterrius Walton, Central Michigan, DT

• Courtney Williams, Central Michigan, WR

• Jason Wilson, Central Michigan, CB