A Senior Bowl prospect for every round in NFL Draft for Lions

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner could be an immediate starter for the Lions at right guard, if they select him in the NFL Draft.

Mobile, Ala. — With the Senior Bowl wrapping up on Saturday, a 34-24 victory for the North squad, here's a prospect from the game who could be a fit for the Detroit Lions in each round of the upcoming NFL Draft. 

First round

Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State: Here’s the thing about the group of players at the event; none are really projected to be top-10 picks. So as long as the Lions stick at No. 8, there isn't a player who participated last week who makes sense. But if Detroit is able to trade down 8-12 spots, a handful of seniors are in play.

Risner might seem like a strange option to slot to Detroit, given the team selected offensive linemen in the first round two of the past three years, but he is capable of stepping into the starting lineup immediately at right guard, solidifying a unit that seems likely to move on from T.J. Lang.

Additionally, Risner has shown he’s skilled enough to play tackle at the professional level and could bump back outside in 2020, if the team opts to part with Rick Wagner next offseason.

Second round

Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech: The NCAA’s all-time leader in sacks, Ferguson finished his college career with 47.5 and added another one in the Senior Bowl game on Saturday. He isn’t the most flexible pass-rusher, but he has a solid frame (6-foot-4, 256 pounds) and sets a strong edge when he’s not getting after the quarterback.

Third round

►Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State: Outside Darius Slay, the Lions lacked a defensive back capable of regularly making plays on the ball in 2018. General manager Bob Quinn noted a need for more playmakers, and Oruwariye fits the bill. The first-team All-Big Ten selection intercepted seven passes the past two seasons, while getting his hands on 27 balls during that stretch.

Utah State tight end Dax Raymond (87) had 27 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

Fourth round

►Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State: Having worked in a pass-happy, Air Raid offense in college, Raymond offers immediate value as a receiver. Both his hands and route running are above-average. And while the blocking is going to be a work in progress out of the box, he possesses adequate size (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) to handle many of the assignments coming out of the backfield or in the open field when flexed out. 

Fifth round

►Penny Hart, WR, Georgia State: Everything about Hart’s size is less than ideal. He stands 5-foot-8, weighs 180 pounds with shorter arms and smaller hands. Yet despite all of that, he routinely stood out from his peers during the week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

Hart is shifty off the line and quick out of his breaks, earning himself almost instant separation from defenders in the slot. Additionally, he has experience returning both punts and kicks.

Sixth round

►Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M: Mack was a late invite to the event after participating in the East-West Shrine game a week earlier. He doesn’t have an ideal frame, at 6-foot-1 with below average arm length, and he also carries some bad weight, but he showed his college production wasn’t a fluke with a strong week of practice in Mobile.

In one-on-one drills, the offensive linemen struggled with Mack’s explosion and power. He recorded 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss in 2018 and would nicely round out Detroit’s interior rotation, providing a boost in pass-rushing situations.

Seventh round

►Will Harris, S, Boston College: With the long-term roster status of Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson up in the air, and Miles Killebrew permanently shifted to linebacker, the team certainly could stand to add some depth at safety this offseason. Harris offers good size at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds and pairs that with the smarts you’d expect from a prospect out of Boston College.

His father, Will Sr., was drafted to the NFL as a wide receiver, while the younger Harris was a standout on both sides of the ball in high school. His hard-hitting style could serve him well on special teams as a rookie.


Twitter: @Justin_Rogers