Five possible Detroit Lions 2020 draft prospects: Week 4
Allen Park — Each week during the college football season, we'll be highlighting five prospects with locally-televised matchups who could be a fit for the Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL Draft, based on the team's projected needs.
Every week, the list will aim to highlight a variety of early-, mid- and late-round prospects. This will give you a chance to watch the players performing live, instead of playing catch-up the weeks before the draft.
Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
No. 11 Michigan at No. 13 Wisconsin | Noon | FOX
It's early, but with each passing week Joe Dahl is validating Detroit's decision to make him a starter. But with Graham Glasgow moving closer and closer to free agency, and suddenly being asked to work in a rotation with Kenny Wiggins, it's looking more like the Lions might need an interior lineman next offseason.
To this point, Biadasz has only played center for the Badgers, but what we know about that position is it requires a player to be exceptionally smart and to have the footwork and hand placement down for blocking either side, which allows for a relatively smooth transition to guard.
At 6-foot-3, 307 pounds, Biadasz has the requisite size to slide over if asked. And if you're looking to improve your interior run blocking, there isn't a better place to shop than Wisconsin.
Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
SMU at No. 25 TCU | 3:30 p.m. | FS1
A massive tackle prospect, checking in at 6-foot-6, 328 pounds, Niang has largely played on the right side for the Horned Frogs.
Those traits scream road grader, but he's actually been exceptional as a pass protector, not allowing a single sack last season. That's important given the increasing number of dominant NFL edge rushers coming from that side of the formation.
For the Lions, Rick Wagner remains under contract for two more years beyond this one, so there's no rush to upgrade. But if the Lions do go that direction, they could save $6.1 million in cap space.
Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
Oklahoma State at No. 12 Texas | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
Johnson would test the idea that you could have too much size at receiver. The Lions already have one big-framed option on the outside in Kenny Golladay, who measures in at 6-foot-4, 214 pounds. Johnson, meanwhile, is listed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds (although college measurements are often inflated and adjusted down at the scouting combine).
One of the most-productive receivers in Texas history, the senior captain has caught 157 balls during his Longhorn career. Given his size, Johnson wins with physicality and catch radius more than speed and quickness. There's always value in knowing how to utilize your frame, especially in the red zone. He also has developed a reputation for being a solid blocker on the edge, an undervalued skill at the position.
Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame
No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 3 Georgia | 8 p.m. | CBS
The Lions found a diamond in the rough with one Okwara, claiming Romeo off waivers from the Giants last year. He immediately emerged as a productive member of the team's defensive line rotation, earning a two-year extension this offseason.
Given that, who would say no to a second Okwara?
Julian plays the same position, but isn't as big as his brother. Both are listed at 6-foot-4, but Romeo has 15-20 pounds on his younger sibling. Still, the Julian has generated more buzz as a prospect after racking up 61 pass-rush pressures and 8.0 sacks as a junior.
Georgia counters with a solid offensive line, led by likely first-round pick Andrew Thomas at left tackle.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Utah State at San Diego State | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSSN
Detroit's backup quarterback situation has shifted significantly in recent weeks, following a trade for David Blough and the signing of Jeff Driskel. The team now has a pair of young talents they can develop through the course of the season and decide if either has long-term value in the role.
If the team ultimately decides it wants to get more serious about the position, drafting a talent who could eventually be groomed as a potential replacement for Matthew Stafford, Love might make sense on Day 2 of the draft.
Possessing a valued combination of a strong arm and above-average mobility, Love has shown steady improvement each season. He'll have a tough time topping last year, when he threw 32 touchdowns to just six interceptions, especially since he already has three picks this season, but the completion percentage (70.7) and yards per attempt (8.7) are still trending up.