Iowa (19) vs Maryland
Noah Fant is the consensus top tight end prospect in the upcoming NFL draft, and for good reason. At 6’5″ and 250 pounds, the Iowa Hawkeye tight end has prototypical size to play the position in the NFL.
Besides being a strong blocker, Fant projects to be a dominant pass catcher in the NFL. Last season, he made 30 receptions for 409 yards and 11 touchdowns. So far, that production is carrying into this year, where he has made 23 catches for 297 yards and 6 touchdowns.
The Lions tight end position has been extremely weak this year. The four tight ends that play for the Lions have combined for just 10 catches through the first five games of the season.
Fant would be a good second or third round target for Bob Quinn to solidify the Lions tight end position for years to come.
NC State (16) vs Clemson (3)
Clelin Ferrel is a star defensive end for the Clemson Tigers. Ferrel helped Clemson win a National Title over Alabama in 2016, and has only become even more of a pass rushing threat since then.
At 6’5″ and 260 pounds, Ferrel has the size to play either defensive end or outside linebacker on the defensive edge in the NFL. Matt Patricia could use Ferrel as an interesting chess piece in his defense, both lining him up with his hand in the dirt and standing up.
Ferrel has made 131 tackles, 21.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss over the last two and a half seasons. He has lived in opposing offenses backfields in his time at Clemson.
Ferrel projects to be an early to mid first round pick in next years draft. If the Lions are picking top 10 are shortly after, they should strongly consider Ferrel.
Alabama (1) vs Tennessee
Raekwon Davis is a tank of a human being at 6’7″ and 320 pounds. Over the last season in a half, he has wreaked havoc for the interior of Alabama’s defensive line, racking up 96 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 9 sacks and an interception.
Davis exploded into the national spotlight in last years college football playoff, when in two games he recorded 10 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and an interception.
At Davis’s size, he could line up at defensive tackle, nose tackle or defensive end in Matt Patricia’s defense. The versatile interior defender is a perfect fit for the defensive line of Detroit’s hybrid defensive front.
Davis is currently looking like he’ll be selected in the mid-first round of the draft. If Detroit has a season in the range of 7-9 to 9-7, they will likely be in position to bring Davis to Detroit.