The NFL draft path has moved to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. It’s the preeminent postseason all-star game and features several prospects who could be taken in the first round.
This week draws nearly the entire staff of every NFL team, including Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia and new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell from the Lions, to the three days of practices. There are player interviews and weigh-ins. It’s also a de facto convention for NFL coaches and GMs, where the first hints of who might be traded or targeted in free agency start to leak out.
Here are six players from each team that the Lions, and One Pride fans, should know heading into the week. I’ll have live reports daily from Mobile to keep up with the action, too.
He’s not the highest-graded corner in Mobile, perhaps not even a top 10 CB in this class. But Boyd was a 3-year starter with the Longhorns and has the size/speed quotient and toughness to fit the need for what the Lions want on the outside. I know the team has scouted him in person. Plus, the last time the team dipped into the underrated Texas CB well, Pro Bowler Quandre Diggs came up.
The designation of “OL” rather than OG or OT is important. Deiter played all over the line during his Badgers tenure. He’s listed as a guard on the official roster, but chances are high he’ll see some reps at tackle as well. Deiter offers a higher-end versatility to last year’s fifth-rounder, Tyrell Crosby, and provides options for the offensive line in replacing T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner over the next year or two.
He’s already getting the Julian Edelman player comparisons as a shorter, white slot receiver with some grit to his game. One of Detroit’s biggest needs is a wide receiver who gets open quickly and makes things happen after the catch. Isabella has a great opportunity to prove he can be that guy this week.
No, the Lions are not drafting Lock. They might not even get the chance; there is real buzz that a good week in Mobile vaults Lock into the range above the Lions’ first pick at No. 8 overall.
The real reason to watch Lock is that he is quite often compared to Matthew Stafford. You want an example of how the NFL and draft media as a whole feel about Stafford? Listen to what they say about Lock, particularly in regards to arm talent.
He can do a backflip at over 300 pounds:
The “Aaron Donald of the FCS” has a lot of impressive game tape to back it up, too. This is his first real chance to swim in a pool with much bigger fish.
One of the most prolific sack artists over the last two seasons, Smith is moving to a more off-ball LB role after playing as a 225-ish pound defensive end for the Huskies. Smith is a late addition to the roster and could raise his profile as someone who can play the Devon Kennard role in the Lions defense.