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. Thursday, January 1st brings college football fans five bowls to watch.
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The fifth is a semi-final game for the National Championship.
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (#1) vs. Ohio State (#4)– 8:30 p.m. (EST) – ESPN
Players to watch during the Sugar Bowl:
Landon Collins (#26), SS – Alabama
A stalwart on special teams over the early part of his college career, Collins enjoyed a break-out season last year after being pressed into action due to injury. The sophomore finished with 69 tackles, four tackles for loss and two interceptions. A consensus five star recruit and ESPNU’s number one safety coming out of high school, Landon is continuing to have an impact in his junior season, ending the regular season with 90 tackles, three and a half tackles for loss, three interceptions, and six passes broken up.
At 6-0, 222 lbs., Collins has outstanding size for the position, yet possesses quick feet and surprising fluidity. Another positive is the football intelligence Collins has exhibited in terms of his ability to read plays and his versatility in playing both safety spots, as well as the nickel.
Mike Bennett (#63), DT – Ohio State
There is little doubt that the Detroit Lions will look to add another defensive tackle in the 2015 draft, and Ohio State’s Mike Bennett is one of the best in the nation. A true senior, Bennett burst onto the scene in 2013, his first season as a full-time starter. With 44 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and seven and a half sacks, Bennett spent a good deal of time wreaking havoc in opponent’s backfields.
At 6-2, 288 lbs., Bennett can get pushed around at times and will need to continue to add size and strength. What he lacks in size, however, he makes up for in effort and intangibles. A team captain and scholar athlete, Bennett boasts a quick first step to threaten gaps and always fights hard to the whistle. Alabama’s offensive line will have their hands full trying to contain number 63.
Doran Grant (#12), CB – Ohio State
Grant started all 14 games in 2013, earning all Big-Ten Conference honors ranking ninth in the conference in passes defended with 13, was the team’s fifth-leading tackler with 58 and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. At 5-10, 196, Grant has proven to be extremely durable, having played 39 games without injury.
Coaches will attest that Grant’s durability is not happenstance, however, as the stout cornerback is a former winner of strength coach Mickey Marotti’s Iron Buckeye Award, given to the player who best exemplifies unquestionable physical training and discipline. A heady player with adequate speed and ball skills, Grant has potential as a solid back-up at the next level.