James Fisher discusses the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and potential Detroit Lions first-round targets.
Going into the the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine this years draft class was being billed as lineman heavy on both sides of the ball with some great prospects and a lot of depth, these position groups didn’t disappoint with their performances.
Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher built on his strong Senior Bowl performance with a great workout at the combine that has catapulted him into the conversation to be the #1 overall pick & the first offensive lineman taken along with Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel. While Joeckel did not have the measurables that Fisher did at the combine, Joeckel’s film is rock solid, playing against the best defenses in the country in the SEC. The left tackle prospect who may have helped himself the most though was Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma. Johnson was a top performer in five out of the six drills he participated in. Truly an unbelievable athlete, Johnson at 6’6 and 303 lbs ran a faster 40-yard dash (4.72) than Anquan Boldin and had a vertical leap of 34 inches that nearly matched AJ Green. With that performance Johnson has most likely turned himself into a top 10 pick.
The edge rushers stole the show for the defensive line group. LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo graded out as a top performer in four out of the five drills, running a 4.58 40-yard dash with a 37 inch vertical leap. Dion Jordan also had a great workout running a 4.6 40-yard dash with a 32.5 inch vertical. I think either could be a fit for the Lions at #5, although with the athleticism both displayed in their drill work, Mingo & Jordan could be targets for 3-4 teams at outside linebacker.
FSU defensive end Bjoern Werner did not put up any eye-popping numbers or flash the type of athletic ability of Mingo or Jordan but his workout was solid and he is probably positioned the best of the defensive end prospects to be a three down player immediately as he already has the prototypical size at 266 lbs that Mingo and Jordan lack. I don’t believe Werner has the upside of Mingo or Jordan to be an impact pass rusher.
One other possible Lions target at defensive end turned out to be very disappointing, Texas A&M defensive end Demontre Moore. Moore only put up 12 bench press reps at 225 lbs and ran a 4.95 40-yard dash. Both numbers suggest the fact that Moore was out of shape and unprepared. Not the message you want to send to scouts. Moore still has a chance at his pro day to change opinions, but it may be too late at this point.
Combine won't help Damontre Moore's draft stock http://t.co/g7ZzkT69vD
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 26, 2013
Another potential Lions pick who’s stock has been rising since the Senior Bowl is BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah bears a striking resemblance to current Giants defensive end Jason Pierre Paul. At 6’5 & 271 lbs with 35 1/8 inch arm length Ansah is ideally built to play in the Lions aggressive one gap wide 9 defensive scheme. Ansah displayed some outstanding athletic ability at the combine running a 4.63 40-yard dash and a 4.26 20-yard shuttle. The lack of experience and production are the concerns with Ansah as he only started one year at BYU.
Alabama corner-back Dee Milliner has also been a possibility for the Lions at #5 but after his showing at the combine he may not make it that far. Milliner put to doubt any concerns about his speed being elite when he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash. Playing in a pro style system under Nick Saban should make him very prepared to start from day one in the NFL.
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