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Bob Wojnowski, Angelique S. Chengelis and Matt Charboneau preview the Michigan vs. Wisconsin and Michigan State vs. Penn State games. The Detroit News

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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.

Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan

No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan, 7:30 p.m., ABC

Rashan Gary carries the pedigree that will almost certainly have him coming off the board first, but Winovich's stock is on the rise given the level he's performed at this season. 

With a relentless motor, Winovich has already managed to rack up 9.5 tackles for loss in 2018, a year after tallying 19 in that column. It's a stretch to believe he'll become anything more than an average pass rusher as a pro, but he should provide enough juice in that department to complement his solid run-stopping ability from the edge. 

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

Missouri at No. 1 Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN

It's not a name I would look forward to writing regularly, but the 6-foot-5, 260 pound Okwuegbunam might be the nation's best tight end prospect, and that's a position the Lions definitely need to upgrade this offseason. 

The pass-catching ability is the primary selling point for the redshirt sophomore. He hauled in 11 touchdowns last season, and while his scoring is down, his overall production in up, averaging more than five catches per game this season. He could immediately bolster Detroit's offense in the red zone. 

The blocking is still developing, but the requisite size is there. 

Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

Missouri at No. 1 Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN

As we explored a couple weeks back, for as explosive as Kerryon Johnson has been, he's likely destined for a tightly-managed workload, averaging around 15 touches per game. The Lions will ultimately need a long-term backfield complement. 

New Orleans' rotation might be the model, with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. And if Johnson is Detroit's Kamara, they clearly need a powerful Alabama runner to round out the rotation. Enter Harris. 

The college numbers are ridiculous. Harris is averaging 7.2 yards per carry the past three seasons. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder has shown the ability to run behind his pads between the tackles, while also flashing some untapped potential as a pass-catcher, with 40 grabs in 45 games. 

And maybe the best thing about Harris is his modest workload, meaning there's plenty of tread on the tires. He's never carried it more than 146 times in a season and he's averaging fewer than 10 carries this year. 

More: Detroit Lions film review: 5 observations vs. Green Bay Packers

Tyler Clark, DT, Georgia

No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU, 3:30 p.m, CBS

A well-rounded interior lineman, the 300-pound Clark has proven strong enough to handle double teams in the SEC, while also showing the ability to penetrate, recording 2.5 sacks last season. 

The Lions are getting strong production out of A'Shawn Robinson and Da'Shawn Hand, but are going to need more competent rotational depth. Ricky Jean-Francois and Sylvester Williams are both set to be free agents and Clark could be had in the later rounds. 

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon, 3:30 p.m, ABC

Murphy is on the slender side, listed at 5-foot-11, 183 pounds. That could prove problematic when supporting the run. But in coverage, the ball skills are undeniable. 

In six games this season, he's broken up nine passes. More impressively, four times over the past two years, he's had three breakups in a single game. The ability for an outside cornerback not named Darius Slay to make regular plays on the ball would be a nice change of pace for Detroit's secondary.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

 

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