Written by: JT Bowen
With the Senior Bowl having come and gone and the Matt Patricia-led North team ultimately winning the game, the dust has settled on some prospects that were coached by the Lions and could be players of interest come April.
The star of the week, in my eyes, was South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, who wowed early in the week at practice, not to mention his incredible and inspiring story. In the event that the Lions were to trade down to the 10-15 range, Kinlaw is an entirely possible pick there. #3, though, is a bit too early for him.
Digressing from that, let’s examine a few players who could see their names called by Detroit in April.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Through the first few days of practice, there was perhaps no player more talked about than former Trojan Michael Pittman Jr. Standing at 6-4, Pittman had a monster year for USC, totaling nearly 1300 yards and 11 TDs. Despite seeing his week end early due to an injury and not participating in the actual game, Pittman should see his stock rise, perhaps even into the 1st round. Though it might be a bit early for Detroit to address the position, adding another target with a Kenny Golladay-like build could be intriguing for the Lions at the top of the second round, should he fall there.
Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
This one was tough, between Anae and Michigan’s Josh Uche, who will also draw the Lions’ interest, but Anae to me is the better player who will likely be drafted higher. Anae had a great week of practice, showing versatility and great technique, but his true capability was displayed in the game, where he tallied three sacks. Anae drew praise from Patricia and would add pass-rushing ability to a Lions defense that sorely lacks it. Another probable Day 2 pick here.
Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
Coming off a solid year for the Irish, corner Troy Pride Jr. surely improved his draft stock with a great week in Mobile. Pride was able to go toe-to-toe with the North Team’s stacked receiving corps, showing hip fluidity, speed, and coverage skills. He also recorded an interception in the bowl game, displaying potential ball-hawking ability. He possesses ideal cornerback size and depending on how he tests, could add needed depth to a secondary that could potentially lose Darius Slay and Rashaan Melvin this offseason.
Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Hailing from Canada, former Sooner Neville Gallimore might have played his way into the first round. Gallimore wields an array of pass-rushing moves and was a regular disruptor against the run and the pass during practice. He probably didn’t have the game he was hoping for in the Senior Bowl, but his solid week of practice, coupled with his power and athletic gifts, has undoubtedly solidified his stock as a player that won’t escape Round 2. Prime player for Detroit if they can pick up some extra picks in a trade-down scenario
Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State
The latest and last product of Mike Peach’s Air Raid offenses at Washington State, Gordon had an outstanding senior year in which he sniffed breaking all-time records, finishing with 5579 yards and 48 TDs. However, he had his fair share of questions as well, tossing 16 interceptions and consistently showing a lack of game-breaking arm strength. Gordon did well this week to dispel those questions, though. He had a great outing in the game, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and 69 yards, and a solid week of practice, too. He showed improved decision making, as well as built on his traits of anticipation, pinpoint accuracy, and a quick release. While his lack of arm strength will likely limit him from ever becoming a franchise signal-caller, Gordon could become QB2 in Detroit as a Day 3 pick to help alleviate the mess that the current backup quarterback situation in Allen Park is.