A dozen dandy prospects for the Lions on Day 3
Allen Park — Through two rounds of the NFL draft the Lions have added a linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver. The team still has plenty of places where it can add depth and enters Saturday with six picks. That gives the Lions the flexibility to move around and snag their targets. Here are 12 players we feel could be fits.
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma: There aren’t many more violent runners in the draft. Built like a Mack truck at 233 pounds of mostly muscle, Perine can solve Detroit’s short-yardage issues.
George Kittle, TE, Iowa: He’s certainly not the biggest tight end, but the former wide receiver is an impressive blocker with above-average athleticism. Somewhat inexplicably, he didn’t play much on special teams in college, which hurts his value.
Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn: If Lawson were taller with longer limbs, he’d be a first-round pick all day. One of the most productive pass-rushers in college last season, he’s a good athlete with enough bulk to not get overwhelmed on run downs.
Grover Stewart, DT, Albany: Big enough to blot out the sun, Stewart tips the scales close to 340 pounds, but is surprisingly athletic. Clearly a run stopper first and pass-rushing interior lineman second, Stewart could have Bob Quinn dreaming of a poor man’s Vince Wilfork.
Desmond King, FS, Iowa: Another Hawkeye, many expect King to shift from corner to safety at the professional level because of size and speed concerns. But few possess his instincts and ball skills. The Detroit native came up with 14 interceptions the past three seasons and offers added value as a return man.
Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson: We still feel Michigan’s Jake Butt is worthy of waiting out his rehab, but if you’re looking for the healthy option, Leggett is a big-bodied, well-rounded tight end who has plenty of experience against top college competition.
Storm Norton, OT, Toledo: It’s common for an NFL team to carry four offensive tackles with the fourth being a developmental project. The Lions certainly could look for a cheaper option than Cornelius Lucas, who has a $1.8 million non-guaranteed contract this year. And, if we’re being honest, Norton’s name was a tie-breaker when considering the various options.
Keionta Davis, DE, Chattanooga: Davis is a developmental edge defender who produced big numbers against lower-level competition, tallying 31 sacks, 19 batted throws and eight forced fumbles in four seasons. One thing you don’t need to worry about is his frame. At 6-foot-3, 271 pounds, he’s built for the league.
Cameron Tom, C, Southern Miss: Travis Swanson will be a free agent after this season and Graham Glasgow is settling in at guard, potentially long-term, so it wouldn’t hurt to add a center. Tom is a little on the light side, checking in at 287 pounds at the combine, but has ideal athleticism for pulling and getting to the second level when required.
Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming: At 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Hill has the size to handle a heavy workload. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry, but doesn’t offer much versatility in the passing game, catching just 41 passes in three years at Wyoming.
Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson: Watkins was considered a Day 2 prospect early in the pre-draft process, but his average athleticism and injury history that includes a severe car accident have caused his slide. He’s probably better suited as a rotational guy than a starter, but it’s tough to argue about his production last season, when he led Clemson with 10.5 sacks.
Rayshawn Jenkins, FS, Miami: An athletic safety with good size, Jenkins has come down with nine interceptions during his college career. His strength and explosive leaping ability make him a late-round prospect worth trying to develop.
Bonus: Cole Mazza, LS, Alabama: Mazza is one of the top long snappers available and Quinn has a history of drafting the position. Calm down everyone, I’m just messing with you.