15 players who could make sense for Detroit Lions in Senior Bowl

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions will coach the North team at the Senior Bowl next week, a chance for the revamped coaching staff to get an up-close look at dozens of prospects months ahead of the upcoming draft. 

And while the Lions aren't likely to see anyone who would make sense for the team's No. 3 selection, there will be plenty of options extending from Day 2 through the end of the event, including undrafted free agents. 

The Lions have regularly targeted players who have participated in the Senior Bowl in recent years, including Amani Oruwariye, Will Harris and Travis Fulgham in 2019, and Tyrell Crosby and Nick Bawden the year before. With that in mind, here are 15 prospects we will be watching who could make sense for the Lions this year. 

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts completed nearly 70% of his passes last season, while rushing for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

The Lions cycled through a dizzying number of backup quarterbacks last season, before settling on Jeff Driskel and David Blough. Although both showed some flashes, they combined to go winless in eight starts down the stretch.

As a mid-round prospect, Hurts could give Detroit a legitimate backup to groom behind Matthew Stafford. Hurts made significant strides during his one year at Oklahoma, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. And he’s a true dual-threat option, rushing for 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019.

Marlon Davidson, DE, Auburn

Reading some of the scouting reports on Davidson, you have to believe there’s some overlap with what scouts saw in Trey Flowers coming out of college. Davidson is on the shot side, but thickly built. His athleticism doesn’t pop off the page, but good technique and IQ help him win his fair share of matchups on the edge. He collected 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss during his senior season.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty

One receiver with Kenny Golladay’s skill set is nice, but how about two? Gandy-Golden is built in the same mold as the Lions wideout, with a sturdy 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. An average, maybe even below-average route runner, the Liberty standout did his damage with body control and good hands. He recorded 150 catches and 20 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Nebraska cornerback Lamar Jackson broke up 12 passes and had three interceptions as a senior.

Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska

Sharing the same name as the uber-talented Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Nebraska’s Jackson recently wrapped up a solid college career with 40 tackles, 12 pass breakups, three interceptions and two forced fumbles, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he has the length and strength to compete with bigger receivers on the outside, as well as support the run.

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Do the Lions need a safety? It’s probably not a top priority, but the same could be said last year and the team still grabbed Will Harris in the third round. Dugger is setting up to be one of this draft’s most intriguing small-school prospects. At Lenoir-Rhyne, he sprouted into a 6-foot-2, 220-pound box safety with legitimate kick-return ability on his resume. How he handles the jump in competition could solidify his status as a Day 2 option. 

Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

Detroit figures to be remaking the interior of its defensive line this offseason with A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels drifting toward free agency, and Damon Harrison leaning toward retirement. Gallimore is an intriguing mid-round prospect with elite strength and some real pass-rush ability. The downside is his frame. He’s on the short side, with proportioned limbs, but there are guys in the league who have shown that’s not a deal-breaker.

TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney has 26 pass breakups over his past two seasons combined.

Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

One of the most physically gifted athletes who will be in Mobile, Gladney is expected to run his 40-yard dash in the 4.3s and has shown impressive strength in the weight room. On the field, he’s quick and agile, and a surprisingly good tackler despite being listed at just 183 pounds. He's broken up at least a dozen passes each of the past two seasons.

Logan Stenberg, guard, Kentucky

It’s looking like the Lions will need one or two interior linemen this offseason with Graham Glasgow, Kenny Wiggins and Oday Aboushi all set to be free agents. In 2013, the Lions drafted a Kentucky lineman they coached at the Senior Bowl in Larry Warford, and that worked out pretty well. Stenberg is a powerful run blocker who primarily played on the left side. He could benefit from showing some positional flexibility at the Senior Bowl. 

Jonathan Greenard, DE/OLB, Florida

If you’re trying to picture Greenard in Detroit’s defensive scheme, there likely would be a lot of overlap with how the team uses Devon Kennard. The Florida defender wins more with his technique and motor than with raw athleticism, but he still managed to rack up 9.5 sacks and a bunch more pressures in 2019.

Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa

An All-American Athletic Conference first-team selection, Robinson flashed solid ball skills as a senior, breaking up 13 throws, intercepting four passes and securing two fumble recoveries. A good week of practice could really boost the draft stock of the 6-foot-1 defensive back.

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Widely viewed as the second-best defensive tackle in this draft class, Kinlaw offers a prototypical frame — measuring in at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds. He pairs that with excellent explosion off the ball, which he maximizes by timing snaps well. That combination contributed to 10.5 sacks and seven batted passes over the past two seasons. Currently projected to go in the middle of the first round, likely the only way he lands with the Lions is a scenario involving draft-day trades.

Ohio State product Malik Harrison could fill multiple linebacker roles for the Lions.

Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State

Harrison probably isn’t a long-term replacement option for Jarrad Davis, but the Ohio State product is an experienced, smart player who could provide depth at multiple linebacking spots, all while bolstering special teams.

Trevis Gipson, DE, Tulsa

A second Tulsa defense, Gipson has an NFL-ready frame at 6-foot-4, 268 pounds. His college sack production was modest, tallying 12 over the past two seasons, but he showed a knack for jarring the ball free, recording seven forced fumbles over that same 23-game stretch.

James Proche, WR, SMU

If it’s slot help the Lions seek — which is reasonable given Danny Amendola turned 34 last season — Proche is worth a long look. Noted for his strong hands, he averaged more than 100 catches and 1,200 yards the past two seasons for the Mustangs.

Matt Peart, OT, UConn

A four-year starter, there’s some positive buzz about Peart coming into the week. Best-case scenario, he could quickly develop into Detroit’s starting right tackle as a rookie. As for the floor, given his positional flexibility, he could replace Wiggins’ role as a multiple-spot backup.


Twitter: @Justin_Rogers