NFL Draft Day 2: 10 prospects to watch for Detroit Lions
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions filled a top need in the first round the of 2019 NFL Draft, selecting Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 8 overall pick. But there's still plenty of work to be done.
The Lions are slated to have two picks on the second day of the draft: No. 43 and No. 88. Here are 10 players the team could consider when the draft resumes Friday evening.
Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
If you believe the Lions defense will continue to strongly resemble the New England unit coached by Matt Patricia for several years, the team would prefer to get a big, physical cornerback to play opposite Darius Slay. Layne could stand to add a few pounds, but you can't teach 6-foot-2. Plus, he's got plenty of experience playing press coverage for the Spartans. He broke up 15 passes last season, to boot.
Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
From the outside looking in, Detroit's biggest need remains guard. Ford has experience playing both guard and tackle. That versatility would be viewed favorably by the front office and coaching staff. More importantly, he allowed just seven pass-rush pressures last year, while also possessing the weight (329 pounds) and power to move guys in the ground game.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Danny Amendola is a solid stopgap option in the slot, but the aging veteran is only under contract for the 2019 season. Samuel would add some explosive depth to the receiving corps, while being groomed for a bigger role as a shifty, run-and-catch option in 2020.
Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan
The first thing that stands out about Winovich's game is his relentless motor. As long as the play is alive, he'll be in full-speed pursuit. He doesn't have an ideal build for Patricia's scheme, with shorter arms than the Lions like on the edge, but that didn't stop him from recording 34.5 tackles behind the line the past two seasons for the Wolverines.
Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
The Lions have a full depth chart at running back after signing C.J. Anderson, but with three of the team's top four backs on expiring deals, Harris would be a strong long-term complement to Kerryon Johnson.
Connor McGovern, G, Penn State
If the Lions pass on drafting a guard in the second round, McGovern could be an option in the third. Most of his experience comes playing right guard, where the Lions are looking for a new starter. At this stage, he's probably more advanced as a run blocker than a pass protector.
Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
Like Hockenson, Cashman is a former walk-on who clawed his way to a prominent role on a Big Ten roster. He has top-end athleticism and could be dominant special teams contributor immediately, while being developed for a bigger defensive role in the future.
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Stylistically, Butler offers something completely different than Samuel. At 6-foot-6 and with a surprisingly amount of experience in the slot, he would give the Lions a matchup piece that could be a nightmare for opponents to cover in the red zone.
Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Hey, look, another local prospect. And why not? Bunting isn't quite as big as Layne, but he's still solidly built at 6-foot, 195 pounds. Combined with good speed and elite leaping ability and you have a small school prospect who has potential to be developed into a quality NFL starter. His nine interceptions the past three years are indicative of quality ball skills.
Christian Miller, Edge, Alabama
Have you heard the Lions like Alabama defensive linemen? Listen, it's worked out well to this point. A'Shawn Robinson and Da'Shawn Hand have formed an impressive interior tandem in Detroit last season. Miller's production took a big step forward as a senior, resulting in 8.5 sacks. And counter to Winovich, Miller's arms go on for days.