Detroit Lions: A closer look at linebacker Jahlani Tavai
The Detroit Lions roster vs the Patriots roster
Flowers is now on the Detroit Lions and is the most accomplished player in the scheme. Tavai was actually draft about two full rounds earlier, though. Starter Devon Kennard plays a similar role at 6-4, 256, and better numbers than the minimums mentioned in the last section, other than a 30-inch vertical jump.
The list of other Lions players who fit are rookie Austin Bryant (pick 117), who mostly did not test but fits the size, arm and wingspan lengths, plus estimated speed, Eric Lee (undrafted), Jonathon Wynn (undrafted), Christian Jones (undrafted), Jarrad Davis (21), and even Miles Killebrew (111) was close.
Of note, Tavai was drafted higher than everyone except for Jarrad Davis who went at pick twenty-one. The 2018 Lions starters, Kennard and Christian Jones, were drafted at pick 174 and picked up as an undrafted free agent, respectively.
So, the Lions do not have the same kind of draft capital invested in their players as the Patriots who have only one undrafted player and a mixture of drafted players from days one, two, and three of the NFL draft.
The Patriots depth includes only Hightower and Van Noy that were drafted ahead of the number pick used on Tavai. The depth on the Patriots roster includes rookie Chase Winovich (drafted at pick 77), Christian Sam (178), Ja’Whaun Bentley (143), Trent Harris (undrafted), and John Simon (129).
Tavai did not do the three-cone drill or bench press during testing at the combine or during the pro day workouts due to his shoulder injury or we could comment about where his results placed. The fourteen similar players all had three-cone times near seven seconds (6.94 to 7.55 seconds). In the 225-pound bench press, the numbers varied from seventeen repetitions to thirty-one reps.