Demetrius Taylor, DL, Appalachian State
The versatile Taylor piled up sacks from the moment he first saw the field as a freshman in 2017. The Miami native posted an impressive college career statline: 137 total tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks, one interception, 11 passes defended, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. Given that, it’s no surprise Taylor earned First Team All-Sun Belt each of his three years as a starter.
It’s notable that one of Taylor’s best performances came against Power 5 competition. Taylor’s strip, scoop, and score off North Carolina’s Sam Howell gave the Mountaineers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the team’s 2019 upset and earned him National Player of the Week honors.
Some new depth along the defensive line in Detroit may make it hard for Taylor to crack the 53-man roster. But the Lions met with him at the University of Miami’s Pro Day, and his subsequent signing shows he’s someone the team wants to get more of a look at.