Western Michigan prospect lingers as a top draft fit for the Lions

As the Detroit Lions shift focus to the draft, Western Michigan defensive end Marshawn Kneeland looks more and more like a great fit.

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As free agency subsides, the Detroit Lions will now turn their attention toward the NFL Draft and filling their remaining needs.

Defensively, while Detroit has beefed up the secondary, the chance still exists for them to bolster their pass rush. Given the lack of resources put toward that fix this offseason, it makes sense that the Lions would focus on that position when the draft rolls around.

Moving toward the draft, ESPN insiders Matt Miller and Jordan Reid (subscription required)identified the three biggest remaining needs for each team. Unsurprisingly, defense remains high on the list for the Lions with cornerback, edge rusher and wide receiver occupying their three biggest remaining needs for

As for Detroit's ideal draft pick outside of Round 1, Reid identified Western Michigan Marshawn Kneeland.

"Kneeland's versatility would allow him to move all across the defensive front, and he has the strong hands to collapse the pocket and finish plays as a pass-rusher, as well as the edge against the run."

The Lions need a running mate for Aidan Hutchinson, and Kneeland impressed playing with the Broncos in his career, posting 12.5 sacks, 149 tackles and 28 tackles for-loss. After a stellar NFL Combine, he is on the radar as a potential first-round selection this month, potentially in the wheelhouse of Detroit's 29th pick.

Marshawn Kneeland represents Detroit Lions' ideal draft pass rusher

Kneeland isn't a fit simply because he went to Western Michigan. He has the qualities that the Lions crave in terms of toughness, versatility and mentality.

Not only does Kneeland offer the Lions the same kind of ideal traits physically, he's already talking like a member of the team. When he spoke at the NFL Combine, Kneeland opened up about his personality.

"As a person, I mean, I'm a calm person. I try to never be too high, never be too
low and you're not going to get somebody that (you'll) never know how they are going to come in. I'm trying to be the same cat every day."

The Lions have assembled a locker room of similar minded players. A consistent approach is something that Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes have used as a bedrock to build their roster. Kneeland seems to fit that template.

Kneeland has landed to the Lions in several mock drafts that go beyond one round, and he seems to be a great overall fit. He's a name to remember as April goes on.

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