Justin Rogers and John Niyo discuss the Detroit Lions' upcoming matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — Each week 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.
Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky (No. 41)
No. 13 Kentucky vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m., ESPN
No, not that Josh Allen, and yes, Kentucky is good at football. But I would understand if you double-checked the headline, thinking this might be a Pistons prospect preview.
Allen has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks this season. The 6-foot-4, 258-pound rush linebacker has generated nearly 30 pressures through five weeks and he's about to go up against an Aggies squad that has allowed 17 sacks, most in the SEC.
Allen is a high-ceiling talent, with a still developing skill set, who could rotate with Devon Kennard on early downs and share the field with Detroit's leading sacker during more obvious passing situations.
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State (No. 38)
No. 8 Auburn vs. Mississippi State, 7:30, ESPN2
The Lions don't have a glaring need at safety, even if the franchise parts ways with Glover Quin after this season, but there's always room for a player with Abram's skill set.
Abram is an instinctive, in-the-box thumper who, at 210 pounds, is ready-made to contribute in run support, plus blitz when asked. Coverage skills might not be much more than average, but the Lions are covered fairly well in that department with Quandre Diggs and Tracy Walker.
Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama (No. 99)
No. 1 Alabama vs. Arkansas, noon, ESPN
Detroit's two best performing defensive lineman played at Alabama, so why not add a third to the mix?
Davis figures to leave Alabama more highly touted than either Da'Shawn Hand and A'Shawn Robinson. One of the best run-stopping interior linemen in the country, Davis also showed a knack for getting into the backfield last season, racking up an impressive 8.5 sacks. He doesn't have a tally in that column this year and has a stiff matchup against Arkansas interior lineman Hjalte Froholdt.
Ben Powers, G, Oklahoma (No. 72)
No. 19 Texas vs. No. 7 Oklahoma, noon, Fox
Hey, look, another guard.
We're going to keep listing interior linemen nearly every week, even if we know they're boring. T.J. Lang suffered a troubling concussion last week, at least the fifth of his pro career, and with a massive cap hit in 2019, it's difficult imagining he's back in Detroit next year.
Powers is an outstanding pass protector, which as long as Matthew Stafford is under center, remains the top priority of Detroit's offensive line. Powers might not be a mauler in the run game, but does a nice job with his pulls, which are an important part of Detroit's blocking scheme.
Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame (No. 99)
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 24 Virginia Tech, 8 p.m., ESPN
The Notre Dame defense has played a key role in the team's 5-0 start, and the success begins with Tillery up front.
After racking up an impressive 9.5 sacks last season, Tillery is already up to 6.0 this year. That's extraordinary pass-rush production for a 300-plus pounder. But he's far from just a pass-rusher. He does a nice job clogging up the run lanes with his long arms, which make him an appealing fit for the Lions' defensive scheme.