5 local prospects the Detroit Lions could take in the 2024 NFL Draft

Even if it's not (or shouldn't be) a scale tipper on its own, these five local prospects could be on the Lions' radar in the 2024 draft.
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4. Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan

The Lions got Kneeland in for a late top-30 visit, as the former Western Michigan Bronco and Grand Rapids native has gotten buzz as a potential late first-round pick. Some mock drafts have had the Lions taking him at No. 29 overall.

Kneeland's sack production in college won't wow you, but Pro Football Focus credited him with 37 quarterback pressures last season. He's also versatile, able to line up in any capacity along a defensive front, and he's a strong run defender with a high motor. He's got some work to do to fully develop as pass rusher, but as Dane Brugler of The Athletic noted Kneeland's best football may be in front of him.

If not for the buzz about being a late-first rounder and that clouding the idea the Lions will draft him, Kneeland would be a notch or two higher on this list.

3. Zak Zinter, OG, Michigan

If not for a broken leg late last season against Ohio State (tibia and fibia), Zinter would be likely be a Day 2 draft pick. He was a four-year starter for the Wolverines at right guard, and took home First Team All-Big Ten honors in 2022 and 2023.

The Lions need depth along the offensive line, but not an immediate starter. So someone like Zinter could be an ideal pick in Rounds 4-7 (Day 3 of the draft), since he would not have to (and may not be physically ready to anyway) play immediately. Some of his shortcomings as a pass protector are a concern, and rooted in being a tall guard (6-foot-6), but he projects to be an NFL starter.

Interestingly, perhaps, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has Graham Glasgow as his comp for Zinter.