Allen Park — Each Saturday during the college football season, we'll highlight five prospects with locally televised matchups who could be a fit for the Detroit Lions in the 2019 NFL Draft, based on projected needs.
Every week, the list will aim to highlight early-, mid- and late-round prospects. This will give you a chance to watch the players performing live, instead of playing catch-up in the weeks before the draft.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (No. 10)
Arizona at Houston, noon, ABC/ESPN2
Here’s the deal with Oliver, with the way things are trending, if the Lions are in position to take him next spring they either a) Had an awful 2018 season or b) Made a bold trade on draft day. But if we didn’t put this defensive lineman on the list at least once this season, we’d be doing you a disservice. He has all the makings of a dominant interior lineman, something the Lions have desperately lacked since the departure of Ndamukong Suh.
The 6-foot-3, 292-pound Oliver racked up 73 tackles, including 16.5 for a loss, last season. In last week’s season-opening victory over Rice, he picked up right where he left off, dropping an opponent in the backfield four times.
If you’re looking for elite, first-step quickness from the inside, you’re not going to find anyone better than Oliver.
Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia (No. 5)
Georgia at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m, CBS
It’s time to consider a roster without Golden Tate. The veteran wide receiver has been a staple in Detroit’s offense for five years, but he’s due a big raise and the Lions have shown a reluctance to pay it to this point.
The Lions kept Brandon Powell on the roster after an outstanding preseason, but there’s still a significant projection when estimating his long-term potential. Adding a player like Godwin in the draft would be a safer bet.
Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 185 pounds, Godwin is a reliable slot receiver who didn’t drop a pass from that alignment last season. He’s caught 38 balls each of the last two seasons, but was a much more of an explosive playmaker as a junior, averaging 16.8 yards per grab with extraordinary efficiency.
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State (No. 9)
Mississippi State at Kansas State, noon, ESPN
Hey, you remember this guy? He was at Michigan State for two years (2014-15) and never really cracked the rotation. Now, at Mississippi State, he’s turning into a beast. He exploded for 10.5 sacks last year, his first with the Bulldogs.
The rangy, 6-foot-6 edge rusher is off to a hot start this year, abusing an inferior Week 1 opponent for six tackles (3.5 for a loss) and 2 sacks. It’s not clear what he’s weighing in at these days, but it appears to be several pounds more his listed weight of 241.
Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma (No. 72)
UCLA at No. 6 Oklahoma, 1 p.m., FOX
Guards are boring, I get it, but the Lions are probably going to need a couple next season, including a starter on the right side.
A junior college transfer, Powers has made 22 starts for the Sooners. He’s mostly played on the left side of the line, but has started at right guard, as well, proving his positional flexibility. At 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, he has the requisite size to hold up against NFL linemen.
Porter Gustin, OLB, USC (No. 45)
USC at Stanford, 8:30 p.m., FOX
The Lions spent decent money on a rush linebacker this past offseason, inking Devon Kennard to a three-year deal averaging close to $6 million per season, but the team still needs depth at that spot, as indicated by the preseason trade for Eli Harold.
With his long, blond hair, Gustin might remind you of another former USC pass rusher, Clay Matthews. He missed most of last season with a toe injury, but is back at full-strength to start his senior year, netting a pair of sacks in last week’s win over UNLV.
Gustin has a sturdy frame, listed at 260 pounds, which should aid in his ability to set the edge as well as get after the passer.