As the Detroit Lions do their due diligence on incoming draft prospects, they reportedly met with Aidan O’Connell after Purdue’s Pro Day.
With the NFL Combine in the books, now it’s Pro Day time between now and the 2023 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions are making the rounds, with coaches in attendance around the country and in different spots as schools have their events for their draft prospects.
Linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard was at the University of Texas’ Pro Day on Thursday, with a likely eye on Longhorns linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, while the Lions had another contingent at Purdue’s Pro Day the previous day
All 32 teams were on Purdue’s campus, and Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported the Lions were among the teams who had a meeting with quarterback Aidan O’Connell after the workout. They also met with the Boilermakers’ signal caller at the Shrine Bowl, and met informally with him at the NFL Combine.
Pauline had an account of O’Connell’s Pro Day performance from Wednesday, which of course has to be taken with some grain of salt.
"Aidan O’Connell continued the momentum from one of the best passing workouts at last week’s Combine and looked terrific today. For those counting, he hit on 47 of 50 passes and looked very accurate. The three misses were all drops by a walk-on receiver."
Aidan O’Connell is clearly on the Detroit Lions’ draft radar
At the Combine, Lions head coach Dan Campbell acknowledged consideration for the future at quarterback after Jared Goff. What that looks like in terms of this year’s draft is unclear, but the backup quarterback situation in general is firmly on general manager Brad Holmes’ mind.
O’Connell is projected to be a Day 3 draft pick. He has good size (6-foot-3, 213 pounds). He is particularly lauded for his short and intermediate accuracy, which was on display during his Combine and Pro Day throwing sessions. He had a productive two years as the Boilermakers’ starter, but overall he was better in 2021 than he was last season. He is a traditional pocket passer with limited athleticism, so a potential NFL comp could be Goff for those who like to do that.
We had the Lions taking O’Connell in the sixth round of our pre-Combine mock draft. Some would say, with a level of merit, if they’re going to take a quarterback that late this year then they shouldn’t bother. But all options should be looked at, and O’Connell is clearly on the radar.