Hakeem Adeniji, OL
While there are a few players that the Detroit Lions could dump to give themselves salary cap space, (Rick Wagner, Marvin Jones, or Jesse James on offense), the Lions also will create another hole in the depth chart to do so.
Wagner and James seem like prime targets to clear cap space but both are fairly impossible to replace as the roster sits currently. Vice president-general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia could ask Tyrell Crosby to start at right tackle or ask Nauta to backup Hockenson and although those moves would free up salary cap space, the Lions depth would be almost non-existent.
So, without further ado, what positions would be both expensive to sign free agents at and simultaneously important enough to spend limited draft capital?
As we noted earlier Decker’s cap number will go up to $10.35 million for this season, so if the Lions let Wagner go to make room, another right tackle or swing tackle to replace Crosby would be a good idea.
If we assume that the Motor City Kitties will select defense with their first and second-round picks, which we are doing strictly for example purposes, we would be looking at the earliest pick number to target to take an offensive player would be pick #67, full draft order from Tankathon.
A few resources that we have consulted to help us gather information are Drafttek, for the positional rankings or general ranking of prospects. We also had to cross-reference using the Reese’s Senior Bowl website accepted invites list, here.
A tackle prospect that could fall to one of our picks after the second round, that will also play in Mobile is Kansas tackle, Hakeem Adeniji. Adeniji might be a target for pick #163, in the sixth-round. He stands just over 6-foot-4 and weighs 310 pounds according to Draft Scout’s website. They estimate that he will run a 5.18 timed forty-yard dash at either the NFL Combine or at his pro day.
Adeniji, although a late-round prospect, has decent size but like many big men are inconsistent in his knee bend and robs himself of leverage by playing too high at times or getting his nose out in front of his feet.
Adeniji sometimes loses targets in space over anticipating their movement without reacting to their actual direction. In pass sets, he is a capable player but sometimes catches defenders instead of delivering a punch, another bad side effect of playing too high at times.
"“Athletic, sleek body frame that projects to be able to move across different positions along the offensive line.”"
Adeniji offers some position flexibility as a possible tackle and guard combo, a trait that Bob Quinn covets in linemen. Also, the cost of good blocking makes a late pick a good risk for the Detroit Lions, a team needy for good depth.