Five possible Lions draft prospects: Week 5
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.
Corbin Kaufusi, DE, BYU (No.90)
No. 20 BYU at No. 11 Washington, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Honestly, I don't know if it's necessarily a good thing to have a 6-foot-9 defensive end, but if anyone could figure out a way to overcome the leverage concerns and find good use for that length, it's probably Matt Patricia.
Kaufusi is listed at 285 pounds, so he has bulk to set the edge, and his background as a basketball player likely helps with his footwork when rushing the passer. He has 3.0 sacks through three games this season.
Kaufusi comes from a football family. His dad, Steve, played for the Eagles, while his brother Bronson is currently on the Jets practice squad.
Jalen Jelks, OLB, Oregon (No. 97)
No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 California, 10:30 p.m., FS1
An under-sized edge rusher, Jelks has been playing a little more off the ball this season for the Ducks. There's room to pack some pounds on to his 6-foot-5 frame and he'd be a nice fit on the edge in Detroit, rotating with Devon Kennard on early downs, and the two could be paired together on speed-rush looks in more obvious passing situations.
Often rushing from the inside for Oregon, he tallied an impressive 46 quarterback pressures last season, recording 7.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He has 2.5 sacks through four games this season.
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (No. 90)
Syracuse at No. 3 Clemson, noon, ABC
There is no larger hole on Detroit's defense, literally and figuratively, than a space-eating nose tackle. Sylvester Williams is fine, as a stop-gap, but the Lions lack a true, gap-devouring monster in the middle.
Lawrence could be Detroit's Vince Wilfork. The Clemson standout, part of college football most dominant defensive line, tips the scales at 340 pounds, but possesses extraordinary athleticism for his size.
Adding Lawrence to the mix would instantly make it much tougher to run up the gut in Detroit.
Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke (No. 44)
Virginia Tech at No. 22 Duke, 7 p.m., ESPN 2
You could justify drafting Giles-Harris for his sweet flat top haircut alone, but he's also a pretty darn good football player.
He's not the biggest linebacker, at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, and by all accounts, he doesn't possess elite speed or athleticism, he simply gets the job done. After racking up well north of 100 tackles the past two seasons, Giles-Harris is well on his way again this season, with 27 stops. More impressively, he's averaged nearly one tackle for a loss per game during his college career.
Johnnie Dixon, WR, Ohio State (No. 1)
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 9 Penn State, 7:30 p.m., ABC
Golden Tate has caught at least 90 passes all four years he's been with the Lions and he's on pace to top 100 this year, which is only driving up his value for when he hits the open market after this season.
I don't expect the Lions to pay him the going rate, meaning they'll need a replacement. That might be Brandon Powell, the preseason standout who is still on the roster, but there will likely be competition to decide the role next offseason.
Dixon only has 35 catches during his college career, which is why he came back to Ohio State for another season, but he's coming off a year where he established himself as a big-play threat, averaging 23.4 yards per catch with eight of his 18 catches going for scores.