The second and third rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft are complete, and the Detroit Lions have added a running back and a cornerback to their roster, selecting Ameer Abdullah and Alex Carter on Friday night.
Now, the scene shifts to Saturday, and the final three rounds of the draft. At this point, there is some definite value to be found in rounds four through seven. Though the Lions have only three more picks, it will be interesting to watch if they try to maneuver upward for players they covet.
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Conventional wisdom says the team might seek a defensive tackle, receiver and offensive tackle for depth, so here’s some names to remember with that in mind.
1. Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State. It has to be a shock to the Lions that Bennett is on the board as the fourth round begins, and conventional wisdom says since Detroit spoke plenty to him, it will be wise to watch if they make a move up to nab him. Bennett has one of the quickest first steps of any defensive tackle in this draft, and his speed helps him both rush the passer and disrupt the pocket. Simply put, it might be mighty tempting for the Lions to package 2016 picks and try to move up to get a solid prospect.
2. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke. Though Kevin Lockett went to the Seattle Seahawks, Crowder is a similar talent. A tiny 5-8, Crowder is the type of receiver and special teams player that can get lost in the shuffle and make plenty of big plays. He might have to learn how to be a receiver, but the special teams game comes naturally to him, which could make him a significant fit with the Lions in the later rounds. The theme of this draft has been smarts and leadership, so Crowder would fit from that perspective.
3. T.J. Clemmings, T, Pittsburgh. Somehow, thanks to medicals, Clemmings has slipped from a potential first round pick all the way down the board to the fourth round. Now, he should be considered a major value for whoever gets him. Detroit might still want to get a young tackle in the fold, and if Clemmings hangs around, he might be hard to pass up considering his overall grade. Also still on the board? Oklahoma tackle Daryl Williams, who was considered an option before the draft process began.
4. Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary. Another player that many figured would be gone is McBride, another quick receiver with a smaller-school pedigree. McBride visited the Lions, and has decent size (6-0) to go with capable hands. At 205 pounds, McBride is someone else Detroit could consider using in a specialty teams role, and many beleive he could be a Pierre Garcon clone. Not a bad idea for day three.
5. Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas. Chances are, the Lions will need to add another defensive end to the mix either today or when the undrafted free agent signing period comes tomorrow, but Flowers provides them arguably the best option left. At 6-2, he’s broad and long, and can get to the ball carrier, as evidence by his 44 tackles, 13.5 of which were for loss in 2014 to go with three fumbles. That type of production from an SEC school is hard to come by on day three.
Wild Card: La’el Collins, T, LSU. Nobody’s taking a gamble on Collins thanks to his well documented issues, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he comes off the board quite quickly on day three. Will he play, though? That seems to be a significant issue for whomever might select him. The Lions brass wouldn’t comment on Collins last night, but would they roll the dice? It seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened considering Collins’ talent.
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