The Detroit Lions are doing plenty of pre-draft work on defensive line prospects, with Eastern Michigan edge rusher Jose Ramirez added to the list of those who’ve been in for a visit.
The Detroit Lions have been focused on building the roster in the trenches, and as noted by Kyle Meinke of MLive 11 of their 14 currently known pre-draft visits this year have been with offensive or defensive lineman.
On Thursday, Justin Melo of The Draft Network reported Eastern Michigan defensive end Jose Ramirez has had an in-person visit with the Lions.
Ramirez started his college career on the JUCO level before landing at Eastern Michigan in 2019. He did not register any stats that season, then the truncated 2020 season followed. A normal season in 2021 led to good production (6.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss). Then Ramirez really took off in 2022, with 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. That breakout season put him on the draft radar.
The Lions landed a draft find in edge rusher James Houston last year. Ramirez is similarly built. i.e. undersized, as a pass rush specialist and standup outside linebacker.
2023 NFL Draft: Jose Ramirez another small school edge rusher on Detroit Lions radar
In the ilk of Houston as a late-round edge rusher upside pick, like Ramirez, the Lions have also had a pre-draft visit with B.J. Thompson out of Stephen F. Austin.
It’s fair to assume, given Ypsilanti and the Eastern Michigan campus is not very far away, that the Lions scouted some of Ramirez’s games last season. Maybe they even saw him tally four sacks in EMU’s rivalry game victory against Western Michigan.
Ramirez’s workout numbers at the NFL Combine were quite good (4.73 40-yard dash, 34.5-inch vertical, 6.95-second 3-cone, 4.3-second shuttle; best at his position in the last two things).
Ramirez is projected to be a late-Day 3 draft pick. If the Lions take him, a development track similar to Houston last year (practice squad to start the season) would be in order.