Apr 25, 2009; New York, NY, USA; A view of the Detroit Lions table before the start of he 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Detroit Lions have the number one pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Detroit Lions Draft Prospects: Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

It would come as no great shock to anyone if the Lions decided to upgrade their offensive line in the draft next week. While the tackle positions has received most of the headlines, it’s possible they look to improve on the interior as well. One guard prospect that recently visited the Lions in Allen Park is Amini Silatolu.

Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 311 lbs
Arms 33″
Hands 10-1/8″
40-Yard Dash: 5.43 sec
Bench Press: 28 reps
Vertical: 31.5″
Broad Jump: 107″
3 Cone Drill: 7.95 sec
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.87 sec
Watch his combine workout here

Calling Amini Silatolu’s path to the pros unconventional is an understatement. He played two years of JUCO ball after high school but sat out the 2009 season after failing to qualify academically at Nevada. He spent 2010 and 2011 playing tackle at Division II Midwestern State and now finds himself as one of the top guard prospects in the 2012 draft.

There are some concerns about how Silatolu will handle the jump in competition, especially since he wasn’t able to showcase his skills at the Senior Bowl thanks to an injury. He faces the same challenges that most small school prospects face when trying to make the jump, namely a lack of technique since the coaching staffs on lower levels of college football pale in comparison to their BCS-level counterparts. NFL teams will like Silatolu’s quick feet and athleticism. With some refinement to his game he could become a dominant interior lineman as a run blocker and pass protector.

If the Lions like what they see in Amini Silatolu they’ll have to make a play on him in the second round. He probably won’t rise into the first round but he won’t fall out of the second.

Fans wanting to see a little nasty to an offensive lineman’s game will see it here:

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Amini Silatolu Detroit Lions

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