After taking two offensive linemen and a defensive tackle in the first three rounds, the Detroit Lions draft featured several more players along the lines during Saturday’s Day Three final four rounds.
My quick takes on the Day Three picks…
The Southern Utah safety is most notable for his size at 6’2” and 217 pounds. He showed straight-line speed and good burst to the sidelines when roaming the deep realms during Senior Bowl practices, though he spent most of his college career in attack mode closer to the line. He should fill the James Ihedigbo role of physical strong safety.
It’s not all wine and roses. As I wrote in the Friday preview,
"The issue with Killebrew is he’s very all-or-nothing. The eye discipline just isn’t strong, and he can be late to pick up on where and when he should be. Also, there is no speed other than full speed. That’s great when chasing down a play or filling against the run, but in space it often means he runs right past the point of attack because he can’t break down his speed under control."
Killebrew should compete with Rafael Bush for the starting SS job. He might not win the job as a rookie but figures to man the third safety role and definitely contribute right away on special teams.
Washington State offensive lineman Dahl brings an edge to the line. He plays very strong at the initial point of attack and isn’t afraid to get after the opponent. While he played tackle (and guard) for the Cougars he projects much better at guard than tackle in the NFL. His run blocking and toughness give him a chance to make it, though his heavy legs and slow feet make him no safe bet to make the roster. The positional versatility gives him a chance to be a valuable 6th or 7th lineman.
Back in January, Williams won my “most likely to be a fitness model” honor from the Shrine Game attendees,
"Williams rocked the crop top to show off his abs but also the crew socks that highlighted his bulging calves. This is the first guy off the team bus. He happened to show out pretty well as a run-and-hit LB, too."
He’s an inside backer who should thrive in terminating runs between the tackles and carrying in-line tight ends to the safety level. I don’t see him having the litheness or range to be more than a 2-down backer, but the Lions need depth and toughness and he brings that. Williams has a chance to be a monster on special teams, too.
Local Lions fans are obviously familiar with the Michigan quarterback. From nondescript transfer from Iowa to whipping boy in Ann Arbor after a brutal early game against Utah, Rudock rapidly ascended once the Jim Harbaugh impact kicked in.
Rudock got a lot better at just about everything. His deep ball zeroed in. He saw the field better and processed defenses quicker. The confidence grew and so did his teammates’ confidence in him. By the end of the 2015 season Ruodck was one of the most effective, efficient QBs in the country.
He’s small and doesn’t have the frame at 6’3” and 207 pounds to get any bigger. The arm strength is average, though his longer throws keep their zip better than some with higher initial velocity. Rudock is quite smart and understands his own game, traits that will serve a career backup well. He’s almost certainly not the guy who will take over after Matthew Stafford moves on in a few years, but the Michigan man can be a nonthreatening, capable backup to push out Dan Orlovsky.
Still another Shrine Game alum, Zettel is a defensive end/tackle tweener. He’ll probably play end in Detroit at 6’4” and 277, though his style of play is more suited for playing inside.
Zettel does have some quickness and pass rush ability, as he showed here against Jack Conklin.
He’s not really an anchor and lacks the length most teams want as a 4-3 base end. His effort and pluckiness will have fans rooting for him. I see him as competition for Gabe Wright, an end in a tackle body.
He’s a long snapper. I hate drafting long snappers. Landes was good enough at Baylor to earn a berth at the Senior Bowl, where he looked adequate. This is a total nod to Bob Quinn’s Patriot roots, as they drafted a Senior Bowl long snapper in Joe Cardona last year. Landes might wind up being the next Don Muhlbach and playing for 12 years and I’ll still hate the fact the Lions used a pick on a long snapper. No offense, Jimmy…
A running back named Washington from Washington, how quaint. He’s looks like a load at 6’2” and 226 pounds, but his running style is that of a much smaller back. The problem is he runs with a really long stride and doesn’t have the foot quickness to pull that off. If he learns to use his mass and attack downhill he’s got a good chance, but I didn’t see the vision or grit in the (admittedly little) I watched of Washington. He’ll have to beat both George Winn and Zach Zenner on special teams to even make the practice squad.