2013 Senior Bowl: 5 Players For Lions Fans to Watch


Jan 23, 2013; Mobile AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad quarterback Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (8) looks to pass under pressure from Senior Bowl south squad defensive lineman Ezekial Ansah of Brigham Young (47) rolling off a block from Senior Bowl south squad offensive lineman Oday Aboushi of Virginia (72) during the Senior Bowl south squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The week of Senior Bowl practice is over and all that is left is to play the game. Game time is 4 p.m. ET and can be seen on NFL Network.

Jim Schwartz and the Lions’ coaching staff has been working with the South squad all week. That up close and personal level of involvement will be a benefit when the draft rolls around but there are players on both squads that Lions fans should be anxious to see. Here are five:

Ezekiel Ansah, DE, South – As one of the best defensive line athletes in the draft, Ansah is the type of prospects that has scouts drooling. He is still raw as he has only been playing football for a few years but he is sure to be drafted in the first round with some already talking about him making a jump into the top ten, and maybe even in the discussion for the Lions with the fifth overall pick.

Margus Hunt, DE, North – Like Ansah, Hunt has a limited football history. He arrived at SMU from his native Estonia on a track and field scholarship but wound up on the football field. He dominated in SMU’s Hawaii Bowl victory but hasn’t shown the consistency necessary Senior Bowl week to propel him into the first round discussion like some thought he could. Still, Hunt could be an immediate improvement over Kyle Vanden Bosch if the Lions give him a look starting early in round two.

Kenjon Barner, RB, North – With Jahvid Best likely done with football, the Lions will be in the market for a speed back and could look to Barner as a mid-round option. He has reportedly fared well this week but some question his ability to pick up blitzers in the NFL. That may not be a concern for the Lions who would likely not require him to be in many blitz pick up packages.

Jonathan Cyprien, S, North – The Lions secondary needs help and perhaps even more at safety than at cornerback. One of the rising names has been Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien, who just so happens to have attended the same high school as Louis Delmas. Cyprien and Delmas talk regularly with Delmas offering some advice from his own Senior Bowl experience. Cyprien is a big hitter that can play the run or the pass. He may have been a day three pick before this week but he may have played himself into day two.

Larry Warford, OG, South – Some Lions fans have made an early point to trumpet Alabama guard Chance Warmack as the player the Lions should look at in the first round. However, word out of the Senior Bowl is that Larry Warford has been very impressive and the biggest reason teams should look beyond Warmack and even North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper. Needs can be addressed elsewhere before turning to Warford, potentially in the second round.