Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Watch List: Bowl Edition


Oct 17, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs for a touchdown as Miami Hurricanes linebacker Raphael Kirby (56) defends in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Watch List gives you college football players to watch who could be on the Lions’ radar next spring.

The college bowl season continues with four games today:

Pinstripe Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers – 12:00 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina – 3:20 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs. Miami – 6:45 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State vs. Michigan – 10:15 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

We previously highlighted Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt for Notre Dame, Seantrel Henderson for Miami and Taylor Lewan for Michigan

Here are three additional prospects to watch for in tomorrow’s bowl games:

Brandon Coleman (#17), WR – Rutgers

In 38 career games and 26 starts at wide receiver, Coleman has 92 career receptions for 1,743 yards and ranks second in school history with 19 career receiving touchdowns. Possessing rare size (6-5, 220 lbs.), Coleman uses his length well to create separation on underneath routes. He’s not the most polished of route runners, but is effective settling into holes versus zone coverage and providing a big target. Though he lacks elite speed and quickness, he’s a long strider with the build-up speed to help take the top off of coverage. Considering his prototypical size, how well Coleman runs at the combine will determine his draft status. Currently he’s likely a day two pick.

Eric Ebron (#85), TE – North Carolina

Ebron has established school tight end records for single-season receptions (55), single-season receiving yards (895), career receptions (105) and career receiving yards (1,727) as a junior. In fact, his 895 receiving yards are an ACC record for a tight end, besting the mark of 871 set by Maryland’s Vernon Davis in 2005. In terms of size, Ebron is more a muscled up receiver than a tight end (6-4, 245 lbs.), but there is no doubting his immense athletic ability. He’s extremely quick off the line and accelerates to full speed quickly, providing a huge target down the seam. As a receiver, Ebron has reliable hands, the speed to gain yards after the catch and consistently fights hard for yards after contact. Although he lacks the bulk and strength to be an effective in-line blocker, he’s competitive and a willing blocker on the second level. Ebron will be a mid to late first round selection and is someone the Lions should seriously consider as we enter the post-season evaluation process.

DeVante Parker (#9), WR – Louisville

Parker didn’t have the year many expected, yet finished the season with a respectable 46 receptions for 743 yards and 11 touchdowns. Parker showcases surprising body control and coordination for a bigger receiver (6-2, 205 lbs.) with the ability to adjust well to off target throws. He looks to have the speed to stretch the field vertically and exhibits nice vision in the open field after the catch. Though he would probably benefit from staying another year in school, the likely departure of Louisville’s star QB Teddy Bridgewater could factor into the decision. Should he decide to enter the draft, Parker is likely a third/fourth round selection.