Potential Detroit Lions 2020 draft prospects: Conference championship week

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Each week during the college football season, we've highlighted 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.

The lists aimed to highlight a variety of early-, mid- and late-round prospects, giving you a chance to watch the players performing live, instead of playing catch-up the weeks before the draft.

Instead of five prospects this week, we've expanded the list to include a must-watch prospect from each of the conference championship games. Enjoy. 

Calvin Throckmorton, OL, Oregon (No. 54)

No. 5 Utah vs. No. 13 Oregon | 8 p.m. Friday | ABC

If versatility is king in the NFL, Throckmorton will carry plenty of appeal in the middle rounds of the draft. He's played all five positions along the offensive line, and although he's had most of his success at right tackle for the Ducks, most observers believe he's destined to kick inside as a pro. 

His best asset is his power, and for a Lions team desperate to unlock its ground game, adding strength to the interior of its offensive line should be a priority this offseason. 

CeeDee Lamb

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma (No. 2)

No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Baylor | Noon Saturday | ABC

As things are currently tracking, the Lions won't have a shot at Lamb. A top-seven pick is too early, particularly given the team's needs, and it's become increasing unlikely Lamb slides into the second round. He's just too good. 

Averaging better than 20 yards per catch this season, he's a 15-time visitor to the end zone. With some of the best ball skills in college football, Lamb is a big play waiting to happen.

Robert Hunt, OT, Louisiana (No. 50)

No. 21 Appalachian State vs. Louisiana | Noon Saturday | ESPN

A couple years ago, the Lions found a gem out of Louisiana, drafting safety Tracy Walker in the third round. And the team's punter, Sam Martin, played for Appalachian State. So this game is a friendly reminder talent is talent, regardless of the school you attend. 

Hunt has been catching the eye of talent evaluators throughout this season. At 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, it's easy to understand why. He's already earned a Senior Bowl invite, and his versatility figures to be a selling point, given his extensive experience playing guard. 

Sean Adesanya, LB, Central Michigan (No.2)

Miami (Ohio) vs. Central Michigan | Noon Saturday | ESPN2

A graduate transfer from Illinois, Adesanya originally committed to Central to play for John Bonamego, who is now the Lions' special teams coach.  

Shaking the injury bug that played him during his early college years, he's appeared in 25 games over two seasons for the Chippewas, recording nearly half of his 30 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2019. 

He's probably a priority free agent who offers some potential as an edge rusher while contributing on special teams. 

Garrett Marino, DL, UAB (No. 1)

Florida Atlantic vs. UAB | 1:30 p.m. Saturday | CBSSN

You've got to respect a big fella confident enough to wear the No. 1. 

At 6-foot-2, 290 pounds, Marino's size is going to turn off a lot of talent evaluators, but he's done some serious damage as a pass-rusher, disrupting the pocket with a quick first step and relentless motor.

Even when you consider the level of competition, 6.5 sacks and five batted passes is an  impressive stat line for any interior lineman. 

Joey Magnifico

Joey Magnifico, TE, Memphis (No. 86)

No. 17 Memphis vs. No. 20 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | ABC

Do the Lions need another tight end? Probably not. But there isn't a lot of NFL talent in this game and we couldn't possibly ignore such a marvelous name. 

Magnifico is no joke. Despite being listed at 235 pounds, he's a physical in-line blocker who has helped open lanes for some productive running backs at Memphis. The receiving is still a work in progress, with the hands ahead of the route running. With the ball in his hands, his speed can be a real asset in the open field. 

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia (No. 71)

No. 2 LSU vs. No. 4 Georgia | 4 p.m. Saturday | CBS

Most fans would prefer the Lions address the defense in the first round, but an offensive tackle can't be ruled out with Taylor Decker entering the final year of his rookie contract and Rick Wagner carrying an $11.9 million cap hit that's doesn't correlate with his recent performance.

Thomas, at 320 pounds, is flexible and powerful. His technique will need to be refined, but he has all the tools to be a dominant tackle at the professional level. 

Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State (No. 99)

No. 19 Boise State vs. Hawai'i | 4 p.m. Saturday | ESPN

If the Lions pass up (or miss out) on an edge rusher in the first round, Weaver would be a reasonable consolation if he slips into the second round. He's already set a personal-best with 13.5 sacks this year and now has 34 over three seasons for the Broncos. 

At 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Weaver is also big enough to set an edge as a run defender. The biggest question is how quickly he can adjust to the jump in competition level. 

Isaiah Simmons

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson (No. 11)

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 23 Virginia | 7:30 p.m. Saturday | ABC

In my opinion, there isn't an more interesting first-round prospect than Simmons. A cross between a safety and a linebacker, he's a far better version of Deone Bucannon, who briefly captured the league's attention as a hybrid defender for Arizona a few years back. 

Simmons can rush the passer, is fluid in coverage and has outstanding tackling skills in space. Paired with a creative defensive play-caller, he could become a unique star at the next level. 

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (No. 2)

No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Wisconsin | 8 p.m. Saturday | Fox

There's no shame in admitting Young is the dream for Lions fans right now, but even if the team loses out, they might not be in position to snag the Ohio State edge defender. He figures to be one of the first three players off the board. 

There's little question the Lions have have serious issues pressuring the quarterback. Young, like former teammate Nick Bosa, is the type of player who has the potential to instantly improve an entire defense with the ability to bring steady heat off the edge.