10 players for Lions to watch at Senior Bowl
This week, the Detroit Lions' scouting department and members of the coaching staff will descend on Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl.
The Lions have had plenty of success drafting players who have participated in the event in past years. The practice week kicks off on Tuesday with the game airing on the NFL Network on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Here are 10 players the Lions should keep an eye on this week.
Oshane Ximines, LB, Old Dominion
Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen pulled out of the Senior Bowl last week, but there’s still early-round edge-rushing talent taking part this week. Ximines, the speedy, small-school standout is near the top of that group. Listed at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, it will be interesting to see how those measurements hold up, as well as how he performs against a better level of competition during the practice week.
Andy Isabella, WR, UMass
The Lions should be in the market for a slot receiver and Isabella was one of the nation’s most productive, catching 102 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 scores. The level of competition didn’t seem to matter, as he went off for 15 grabs, 219 yards and two scores against Georgia last season.
Ross Pierschbacher, OL, Alabama
Sure, T.J. Lang could come back at a reduced salary, but if the Lions part ways with the veteran, they’ll need to shop for a replacement. Pierschbacher was a four-year starter at Alabama, gaining both experience at guard and center during his time at the school. Lions GM Bob Quinn has shown a preference for Power-5 offensive linemen and Pierschbacher's run blocking prowess would mesh well with Detroit’s offensive philosophy.
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
If the Lions don’t draft a cornerback in the first round, Oruwariye could make sense on Day 2. Quinn said he was looking for playmakers on both sides of the ball and the 6-foot-1 Penn State corner has ball skills in spades, intercepting seven passes the past two seasons.
Drew Sample, TE, Washington
This should be a deep class at tight end, but many of the top options are underclassman. Sample is a polished blocker who took on a bigger receiving role as a senior, catching 25 passes. He could be a solid late-round option for teams looking to solidify the physicality of their groups.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
A transfer from Presbyterian College, Ya-Sin has one of the best names in college football. He is a physical press corner who uses all of his 6-foot-2 frame to his advantage. If he can show a natural feel for some of the zone assignments he’ll inevitably be tasked with this week, it could really boost his stock.
Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
If the Lions are determined get a physical run blocker who can stand their ground against powerful interior defensive linemen, Lindstrom would be a solid Day-2 option. The Boston College lineman has plenty of experience at right guard, so the Lions wouldn’t have to shuffle their front to fit him in as a plug-and-play option.
Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
Ferguson is bigger and older than Ximines, but brings a rare level of production to the table. In four college seasons, Ferguson racked up 45 sacks, including 17.5 last season. He also has developed a reputation for being a solid run defender who sets a strong edge. Listed at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, he has an NFL-ready body.
Wes Hills, RB, Slippery Rock
Like tight end, the cream of the crop of this year’s running back class won’t be in Mobile. That should give Hills the opportunity to snatch the spotlight. The 218-pound back was a workhorse last season, rushing for 1,714 yards, a school record. He also showed some pass-catching ability out of the backfield, adding 28 receptions. Last weekend, he earned MVP honors at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, North Carolina State
A bigger-bodied slot receiver at 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounds. The converted quarterback showed steady hands working across the middle as he tallied 92 receptions for 1,047 yards in 2018. Right now, he looks to be more of a possession receiver than one who does big damage after the catch.