Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Lions offseason questions: Draft prospect to watch

Detroit Lions
27 Feb 2021, 19:25 GMT+10

Lindsay Miller

The NFL released the 2021 Pro Day schedule earlier this week. All individual workouts will be held on pro days this year with the NFL having to alter the NFL Scouting Combine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the pre-draft evaluation process about to heat up, which prospect are you keeping an eye on this offseason? I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:

Tim Twentyman: Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell

I'm liking Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons the more I watch him, but for this question, I'm going with Sewell. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle was dominant in 2018 and 2019, winning the Outland Trophy in 2019, and recording the highest grade ever given out to an offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus that season.

If the Lions can get the top tackle in the draft at No. 7, I think that's a huge win for new GM Brad Holmes. Not only is that terrific value at No. 7, but it would really solidify things upfront on Detroit's offensive line. That would be bookend tackles in Taylor Decker and Sewell under contract for at least the next four seasons, Pro Bowler Frank Ragnow at center, up and coming second-year guard Jonah Jackson and veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai likely moving to the other guard spot.

Mike O'Hara: North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance

Lance is the draft prospect I'm most interested to watch in this year's evaluation process, and I don't have any mixed emotions about it.

Parsons has been my pick for the Lions in my first two mock drafts, and he's the front runner to be the pick in my final mock. But Lance is the top-10 prospect we have the most questions about because he played at a small school. We've seen highlight clips of Lance in action, but scant live game action.

He didn't play at one of the major schools like the other top-rated QBs and didn't play on prime-time TV every week. The evaluation on Lance will boil down to whether he's as good as his stats.

Lance has all the measurable traits -- size, speed, arm strength, athleticism -- to be a starter in the NFL. He has the stats to go with it -- based on what he did in 2019, his one full season as a starter.

Lance started all 16 games. He threw for 2,786 yards with 28 TDs, no interceptions and a completion rate of 66.9 percent. He also ran for 1,100 yards and 14 TDs.

Tori Petry: Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons

There's no question this Lions defense is in need of playmakers, and Parsons could be just that. He opted out of the 2020 season and the evaluation process for draft prospects looks a lot different this year with no NFL Combine, so it's going to be tricky for football front offices to get a bead on who Parsons could be in the league.

In his last year on the field in 2019 though, he racked up over 100 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. I think a lot of teams will be paying special attention to the 6'3" 245 pound former defensive lineman this offseason.

Editor's Pick: The top wide receivers

This might be cheating but I'm going with three players. LSU's Ja'Marr Chase and Alabama's Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are the top three wide receivers in this year's draft class. Depending on what happens in free agency, the Lions will likely have a need at wide receiver.

There's no clear consensus on who is at the top of the class, and all three players have been mocked to the Lions throughout this offseason. I'm interested to see how all three perform in the pre-draft process. Who will be available when the Lions are on the clock at 7?

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