EDGE Mike Morris–Michigan
A late bloomer on the Michigan roster, Morris has been arguably the best player on a Michigan defense that is fifth in the country in scoring, third overall in rushing defense, and third overall in total defense. He leads the team by far in sacks with seven on the season, and has stepped up for a defense which lost its top two edge rushers from last year in Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. Morris is versatile and athletic, measuring 6-foot-6 and weighing 292 pounds. He has the ability to blow up plays at the line of scrimmage, or get into the backfield to disrupt the quarterback. He can play both defensive end and linebacker, which is the kind of versatility NFL teams are looking for these days.
The Lions struggle to get pressure on the quarterback and have a rough set of linebackers on their team. Morris is someone they could get in Round 2 of the draft to provide significant value and versatility to their defense. He is someone to keep a close eye on as he plays against top-level talent in the College Football Playoff.
Tight End Darnell Washington–Georgia
The fifth player on this list is another Georgia product. Washington is simply a massive tight end, measuring at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds. He has great hands, and is only scratching the surface in terms of using his physical tools. He has above-average agility for his size, but not great top-end speed. But he upped his yardage total from 154 yards in 2021 to 417 yards this year as part of an offense featuring NFL-caliber skill position players.
The Lions traded T.J Hockenson at the trade deadline and will be on the lookout for replacement options. If Washington is available in Round 3 or 4, they would do well to have an in-depth scouting report on him and possibly jump at the chance to get him.