It’s College Football Bowl season and the Hawaii Bowl (Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) features prospects on both sides of the ball but its the defenders that will most likely be the focus of the Detroit Lions scouts.
Let’s take a look at the names Lions fan will want to know.
Ferguson’s name may sound familiar because he was recently mocked to the Lions in the second round by Luke Easterling of the Draft Wire. Ferguson would play down defensive end in the Lions scheme and would pair nicely with Romeo Okwara (assuming the Lions pick up his restricted free agency tender).
Ferguson is a stud at setting the edge against the run, which is a priority for the Lions coaches. He is also highly productive as a pass rusher — 42.5 sacks over his career — and he wins with his length and effort.
He still has plenty to learn as a small schooler which will likely keep him out of the first round, but with a player like Okwara on the roster, he won’t be pushed too quickly and will have a chance to develop into an impact player.
Tavai is a favorite of the Athletic’s Dan Burgler who called him “one of the better kept secrets in the 2019 NFL Draft” in his most recent mock draft where he projected him to go late round two.
“Tavai has a legitimate chance to be the first senior linebacker drafted,” said Brugler. “Well-built at 6-3 and 235 pounds, he has outstanding range and moves clean when asked to drop in coverage. Against the run, Tavai is physical at the point of attack to detach from blocks and find the football. Medicals will be important after a late-season shoulder injury.”
If the Lions target him on day two of the draft, he would slot in as competition at the WILL linebacker spot.
Ursua is only a redshirt junior and has not declared for the draft but after an 89 catch, 1343-yard 16 touchdown season, he may be tempted to jump to the next level. The Lions are known to scout Hawaii prospects — hello, Leo Kolomatangi — and with a need for a slot receiver, Ursua has likely already caught their attention.