The 2016 NFL Draft is exactly one month away, and the pro day circuit is winding down for the Detroit Lions and other teams. This is the last big week for the school events, as NFL teams shift focus to individual workouts at team facilities.
Detroit staffers have been prominent attendees around the country. Expect to see reports of them at several of the pro days scheduled for March 28.
The headliner school features two surefire first round picks in WR Laquon Treadwell and LT Laremy Tunsil. Both project to be off the board before the Lions pick at No. 16, though Treadwell could be in play. His pro day is a great chance to dispel the notion he’s slow, as he has opted not to run the 40-yard dash up to this point.
Some less prominent players the Lions could be checking out include WR Cody Core, RT Fahn Cooper, safety Trae Elston and DT Robert Nkemdiche. The last name here is the most intriguing, as Nkemdiche has wild athletic potential, enough that he’s a definite consideration in the top 10 overall. However, he didn’t produce much on the field for the Rebels (5 sacks, 11 TFLs in last two years) and has some disturbing off-field flags.
The Lions have already met with both Core and Cooper during Shrine Game week, and Core fits the profile of a speedier outside wideout with some size (he’s 6’3”). Cooper doesn’t move all that well but plays with power and surliness. Both project as 4th-5th round talents and play positions of need for Detroit.
There isn’t exactly an NFL pipeline from Stony Brook, an FCS-level school on Long Island. However, the Seawolves have a pretty exciting sleeper in edge rusher Victor Ochi.
Another Shrine Game player, Ochi absolutely dominated the practice fields in St. Pete back in January. His burst off the snap is outstanding:
The issue for Ochi is he is an odd size at 6’1” and 246 pounds. His arms are quite long at over 33” and he uses them quite well to keep blockers at bay, but he’s too short to play full-time 4-3 DE and his overall game is quite limited other than getting after the opposing QB. Still, it’s hard to look past a guy who has rocket fuel in his cleats on the edge. Pay attention to his agility scores and 10-yard split on his 40 time. Ochi projects anywhere from the third to sixth round.
The only other schools scheduled are UC Davis and South Alabama. Neither is expected to draw interest from the Lions.
Follow up–Laquon Treadwell ran a verified 4.65 40-yard dash at Ole Miss. That’s among the worst times of any wide receiver in the last several drafts. I have to think that will push him down draft boards, including Detroit’s.