The NFL Draft is just days away and the Detroit Lions have a ton of targets to look at early round.
But What about the guys that are expected to go late in draft? When the Lions get to the final rounds, they will be looking for the best available project players on the board. Washington’s Jaydon Mickens represent one of those opportunities.
The four year Huskie is coming off a career at Washington that saw him finish 2nd all time in school history in career receptions. But with so many other household names at the position like Laquon Treadwell and Will Fuller, in addition to late round names like Leonte Caroo and Kenny Lawler, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. But Mickens represents a chance to get a real sleeper steal in this years draft. It will have to come with work though. Here are some pro’s and con’s on Mickens game.
Perhaps Mickens best trait is the ability to fly off the line and create separation. With most cornerbacks Mickens is able to stutter step or simply foot race away from the defender. His 35.5 vertical allows him to out jump your standard sized corner and grab the ball. Because he’s able to get that separation, he finds himself in less contested catch situations than usual. He doesn’t have the YAC ability that Golden Tate can give the Lions, but he’s able to make the first man miss more often than not.
His athleticism alone is the real selling point here. In addition receiver, Mickens has also played a little running back and special teams as well with some success. Mickens can jump into a special teams role right away with that ability. He has returned punts and kicks, but has not done so since his freshman year. He could compete for that role in camp though.
The biggest con right out of the gate is Mickens size. At 5′ 11” and 170 lbs, Mickens must try to bulk up or he could get broken in half by larger defenders. Speaking of larger defenders, because Mickens is so small he could have a lot of trouble dealing with above average sized corners that can muscle him around. The other problem that any Washington fan will be able to tell you about is that Mickens has had some issues with drops over the past four years. With Eric Ebron in the building, this might turn Lions fans off of Mickens.
Jaydon reminds me of Steve Smith in the sense that he’s a very passionate player that will likely get the scrappy moniker thrown on him during the draft. He is definitely a project. But he’s a project with a great upside that can contribute in some way early on. There’s always the chance that Mickens could go undrafted. This would give the Lions a great chance to get a steal of an athlete without using a pick and coach him up over the next few years.
Take a look at Mickens Highlight tape. A warning first. As with every prospects highlight tape, the lyrics in this awesome song are NSFW.
What do you think Lions fans? Would you like to have Mickens join the Lions? Be sure to leave your comments below or come chat with me on Twitter