Even after taking Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill in last year’s draft, the Lions could still use some youthful reinforcements along the interior defensive line.
Ogbonnia was only a full-time starter for one year at UCLA, but he has size (324 pounds) combined with length (6-foot-4; 34 and 3/8-inch arms) to make him an interesting, though raw and flawed, prospect. Despite limitations and/or lack of significant playing time until his final year, he showed he can be disruptive in the backfield (8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks over his final three seasons as a Bruin).
As Detroit moves toward using four-man fronts next season, Ogbonnia could stick and be a nice fit.
I originally took Chamarri Conner here in the sixth round, since he was listed by Pro Football Focus, but it appears he’s going back to Virginia Tech for a fifth season in 2022. So a pivot was in order, and Arizona State’s Jack Jones goes to Detroit in the sixth round.
Jones (5-foot-11, 171 pounds) profiles as a slot corner at the next level. Last season at Arizona State, he had 41 total tackles, three interceptions and six passes defensed. He is a ballhawk, with at least six pass breakups and three interceptions in all three FBS college seasons he played more than one game in.
Jones was ruled academically ineligible afer playing one season at USC, then a suspension for violating team rules cost him all but one game in the shortened 2020 season. But those character concerns aren’t that meaningful in the sixth round.
T.J. Hockenson missing the final five games of last season exposed the lack of depth the Lions have a tight end. And no, the signing of blocking tight end Garrett Griffin won’t fix the problem by itself. So taking someone in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft is possible.
After missing the 2020 season due to being diagnosed with myocarditis, Okonkwo returned to action last season and had 52 catches for 447 yards and five touchdowns on his way to earning All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Okonkwo is very raw, but his physical traits are moldable and he’ll benefit from NFL coaching.