5 players the Detroit Lions should watch in the College Football Playoff

(Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Credit: Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images
Credit: Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images /

Defensive Lineman Jalen Carter–Georgia

At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Carter is one of the most intimidating players in all of college football. His numbers are not eye-popping, with only six sacks over the past two seasons, but he is a force in the middle of the line of scrimmage–blowing up play after play. Go watch some of his game footage from 2021 and see just how many running plays he eliminated due to his quick twitch and his overpowering strength. While injuries have impacted him this season, he has still been incredibly  effective in the time he has played, contributing to the top-ranked rush defense in the country (77 yards per game). His game tape from 2021 alone makes him worthy of being a top-five pick in this draft.

The Lions have some talent in their defensive line and Aidan Hutchinson has done more than enough to show his long-term worth. If they could add Jalen Carter to the middle of that line, they would add a freak athlete to go alongside a technician in Hutchinson. They could be a significant one-two punch on the front line for years to come.

Cornerback Kelee Ringo–Georgia

Another star player from the Georgia defense, Ringo may be the best cornerback in the country and is ranked as the No.15 overall player in the 2023 draft class right now by Pro Football Focus. He is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, and could easily play cornerback at the next level or even be a viper on the right defense. He is incredibly physical on the outside with receivers but mixes that with 4.3-4.4 speed. He has two interceptions and six passes deflected this year and is clearly the man Georgia leans on to guard the best receiver on the opposing team. He will get the chance to guard arguably the best receiver in the country in Marvin Harrison Jr. when the Bulldogs face the Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff.

Despite some marginal improvement by the secondary as this season has gone on, the Lions could use a significant upgrade there. Ringo would add some toughness and significant talent to a position group that needs upgrades in order to be competitive. Ringo could be a potential shutdown corner in the NFL that would play with the toughness to remind people of Darrelle Revis.