The Detroit Lions are getting set to evaluate another Senior Bowl class and have been in Mobile all week long getting a closer look at some of the players who are getting set to make a case as to where they should be selected in the NFL Draft.
So when Detroit fans get set to sit down and watch the Senior Bowl this weekend, which players should they be getting the closest looks at? Here’s a look at the top players that should be in play for a look in Detroit.
1. Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. You’d be hard pressed to find a player generating more buzz this week in Mobile than Sweat, a defensive end who transferred from one MSU to another. The debate is just beginning about whether or not Sweat is a top 10 pick, but if he works his way high on the list, you can bet the Lions will be all eyes as it relates to his skill set and potential fit in their defense given they are looking for edge rushers. If Sweat is a top 10 pick, a good spot to start watching for him could be Detroit if he keeps up the performance this week.
2. Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State. There’s a need in Detroit for some complementary pieces to go with the offense, and McLaurin has a pretty big upside if some recent reports are to be believed out of Mobile. With some speed and agility, there’s no reason McLaurin couldn’t come to Detroit and play a starring role for the Lions in Matthew Stafford’s offense. There’s enough talent there to think that McLaurin could become a star in the league, and Darrell Bevell has developed wideouts just like him before. Keep an eye on this one for Detroit.
3. Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison. The Lions have a major need at cornerback for a ballhawking playmaker and Moreland is an intriguing name from small-school James Madison. Early in the process, he’s been mentioned as a player the team has sniffed around, and for good reason. 14 career interceptions is a huge number for anyone, and Moreland has a bit of a playmaker pedigree as a result and could be one of the top early round corners off the board. Clearly, the Lions are interested here, so watch him closely.
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4. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia. The Lions probably don’t need a quarterback in Round 1, but from Round 2 on, the game should be on as it relates to finding someone capable to place behind Matthew Stafford. That’s why someone like Grier could be perfect for the team. With fire and passion, Grier could be an ideal target for the Lions and Bevell when it comes to developing a second guy for Stafford to teach for the future. Watch to see where he fits in the pecking order. He could be right in Detroit’s wheelhouse as a guy who could make a difference later on in the draft.
5. Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland. Matt Patricia and the Lions have been the master of unearthing hidden talent for years along the defensive front, and Cowart could be another shot at doing just this. A former top recruit who never really realized his potential in college, Cowart could be perfect in Patricia’s defense playing the Da’Shawn Hand role. At this time last year, Hand was in a similar spot to Cowart, which could only prove his fit for the Lions more. Watch to see if he can be a mid-round gem for Detroit’s defense as Hand was a year ago.
6. Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson. If you’re looking for Detroit’s own version of Wes Welker or Julian Edelman, look no further than Renfrow, who could be an ideal pick in the middle stages to help Detroit move the ball and get things done short. The Lions could view him as a pretty effective replacement for Golden Tate, and obviously, that’s something they have needed for a while since Tate left. Renfrow was productive at Clemson last season and is someone who could make a huge difference for the Lions and their offense with chunk plays.
7. Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State. The Lions have a big need at tight end and one of the most interesting prospects out there is Raymond, a physical specimen who played in a high flying Utah State attack in 2018. The Lions will be hunting for any type of tight end to see what could work to transform their offense, and Raymond, at 6-5 coming from a pass happy offense in college, could be an ideal guy to remember for this in the later rounds.