Look for later-round defensive linemen
The Lions have been quite active in investigating the depth of the draft class at defensive tackle and end. Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has been crisscrossing the nation working out mid- to late-round prospects, and the Lions have met with many of those kind of prospects at various pro days as well.
Some of the lesser-known names the Lions have met with or worked out include:
- Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
- Drew Iddings, DE, South Dakota
- Trevon Coley, DT, Florida Atlantic
- Shaneil Jenkins, DE, Shepherd
- Justin Zimmer, DT, Ferris State
- Ufomba Kalamu, DT, Miami FL
In fact, sources have confirmed Kocurek is headed to West Virginia on April 4th to work out Jenkins, a 6’4”, 278-pound D-II star.
Of that group, Ridgeway is the only one who projects above the fourth round. As his NFL.com draft profile notes, he has conditioning and durability issues during his up-and-down Longhorns career. Keep in mind Bob Quinn was part of the New England staff which tabbed his linemate Malcolm Brown in the first round last year, and the Lions scouting staff was quite high on Brown too. That means long-range familiarity with Ridgeway and the turbulent state of the Texas football program. Kocurek conducted his pro day workout in Austin.
Note that this does not preclude the Lions from taking a defensive tackle in the first couple of rounds.
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