On the lookout for defensive line help in the draft, the Detroit Lions have had a pre-draft meeting with a rising player.
For the draft later this month, defensive line is now the Detroit Lions top need. So it’s no accident they’re doing some due diligence on a wide range of options, from Jalen Carter and Will Anderson down to later-round prospects who might fit.
According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC, the Lions had a pre-draft meeting with Northwestern defensive tackle Adetomiwa Adebawore as plenty of teams are showing some interest in a rising player.
That report backs up previous indications, via Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire, that the Lions met with Adebawore around his Pro Day last month.
Adebawore ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at the NFL Combine, the fastest time ever for a player over 270 pounds, with a 1.61-second 10-yard split. He also posted a 37.5-inch vertical leap in Indianapolis, with a 10-foot-5-inch broad jump and 27 bench press reps.
Those athletic numbers are akin to a linebacker–and better than many–not a 282-pound defensive lineman.
Detroit Lions named among best fits for Adetomiwa Adebawore
Jack McKessy of The Draft Network has the Lions as his best team fit for Adebawore.
"While the team invested in edge rushers in the 2022 NFL Draft, their interior defensive line was still a weak spot during the 2022 season, particularly in run-stopping situations. Adebawore’s competency in gap control and reading blocks, as well as his ability to play head-up on tackles, make him an intriguing prospect to shore up that weakness. On top of that, head coach Dan Campbell and his coaching staff value versatility, which could allow Adebawore to showcase his range of skills and alignments as both a run-stopper and a pass rusher across the defensive line."
If you buy into what is deemed ideal in terms of height and weight, Adebawore (6-foot-2, 282 pounds) comes off as a bit of tweener–not big enough to hold up inside and too short to play out on the edge. But his arm length (33 and 7/8-inches) and hand size (10.5-inches) are notable, and evaluations note how he plays with force and a high motor. The Lions could use a three-technique defensive tackle with his skill set.
Adebawore is gently pushing toward being an overdrafted Combine workout warrior. But the Lions should be learning about as many defensive line prospects as they can, and the Northwestern product belongs on the list.