The Detroit Lions 2015 NFL Draft Watch List gives you college football players to watch each week who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar next spring, with a particular focus on positions of need. Saturday, December 20th kicks off the college bowl season with five games.
New Orleans Bowl: Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette – 11:00 a.m. (EST) – ESPN
New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs. UTEP – 2:20 p.m. (EST) – ESPN
Las Vegas Bowl: Utah (#22) vs. Colorado State – 3:30 p.m. (EST) – ABC
Idaho Potato Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Air Force – 5:45 p.m. (EST) – ESPN
Camellia Bowl: South Alabama vs. Bowling Green – 9:15 p.m. (EST) – ESPN
Of the ten teams, Utah has the most NFL caliber talent, and in Week 9 we highlighted Nate Orchard (#8), DE and Eric Rowe (#18), DB.
Here are four more key prospects to watch for on Saturday:
Brock Hekking (#53), DE – Nevada
Hekking established himself as one of the best defenders in the Mountain West Conference last year, finishing fourth in the conference with nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. At 6-4, 255 lbs., Hekking is a bit light to be an every down end at the next level. What he lacks in size, however, he makes up for in athleticism and effort. Hekking has the quickness off the snap, agility and balance to contribute as a situational pass rusher at the next level. As an added in-game bonus, you can contemplate whether Hekking or U Conn QB Casey Cochran has the best mullet in all of college football.
Ian Hamilton (#14), WR – UTEP
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking – “A wide receiver?? Really??” Yes. One of the enjoyable things about scouting football players is when you get a gut feeling that an unheralded player has the potential to make an impact at the next level. Hamilton is one of those players for me. With only 500 yards and two touchdowns on the season, stats don’t tell the full story. The Pasadena City College transfer is raw, but showcases the ability to make big plays by utilizing his excellent size (6-5, 225 lbs.) to box out defenders downfield. Hamilton will likely go undrafted, but is competitive, fights hard for the ball in the air, and has the potential to outplay his draft status. Keep an eye on #14.
Dee Hart (#10), RB – Colorado State
The 5-9, 190 lb. running back transfer from Alabama has had one heck of a year. Hart posted 187 carries for 1,254 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. The red shirt junior is an explosive back who can make quick cuts and fights hard for extra yards after contact. With the upcoming departure of head coach Jim McElwain from Colorado State, he recently hinted that Saturday’s game against Utah might be his final as a collegiate player. Due to the unreliability of Reggie Bush, the Lions might be looking to add a running back like Hart to their roster come draft time.
D.J. Lynch (#7), ILB – Bowling Green
The Pontiac, Michigan native was a 2013 second team All-MAC linebacker after recording a team-high 85 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. Though a knee injury side-lined Green for five games this season, Falcons defense will be with their emotional leader when they take on South Alabama in the Camellia Bowl. At 5-11, 244 lbs., Lynch boasts a solid frame and delivers striking power on contact. Fast, instinctive and well prepared, Lynch will make his mark on special teams and as a solid backup at the next level with the potential to be more.
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