10 Day 3 prospects Detroit Lions should consider in NFL draft

Detroit Free Press

Fifteen receivers came off the board in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL draft, and there is a good chance another 15-plus will come off the board on Day 3 Saturday.

The Detroit Lions spent the first two days of the draft adding size upfront on both lines and getting help for their defense. General manager Brad Holmes said he did not come into the draft targeting one position, and he won’t change his approach Saturday.

But the Lions still have a significant need at receiver after passing on good players like Purdue’s Rondale Moore and North Carolina’s Dyami Brown at various points Friday.

No more ‘Same Old’ for Detroit Lions and Brad Holmes; try ‘Big and Bold’ instead ]

With just two picks Saturday, one each in Rounds 4 and 5, the Lions will not be able to fill all of their holes but they still have plenty of options at the receiver position.

I put three receivers on this list of 10 players who would fit the Lions on Day 3 of the draft, and I could have included a handful of others because of the remaining talent at the position.

LB Jabril Cox, LSU

Cox made my Day 2 list as a third-round possibility at linebacker, so naturally he is going to make the list on Day 3. The Lions still need help at the position, and Cox would add speed to a unit that needs it.

LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

Moses missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL and played part of the 2020 season with a torn MCL that required February surgery. His medical history may make him undraftable, but he was a productive player throughout his Alabama career who once upon a time was considered a possible first-round pick.

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WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

The brother of Green Bay Packers receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and the son of a former Mr. Universe, St. Brown has impressive bloodlines and solid production (178 catches in three seasons). He can play outside or in the slot.

WR Shi Smith, South Carolina

Smith projects as a slot receiver in the NFL and would be a complement to speedy outside receivers Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in Detroit. He finished his college career with three straight 40-plus catch seasons.

WR Trevon Grimes, Florida

Grimes did not generate much buzz this year playing in an offense that featured first-round picks Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney, but the Ohio State transfer has NFL size at 6 feet 4 and reportedly ran sub-4.5-second 40s at his pro day.

S Jamar Johnson, Indiana

It’s possible the Lions are looking at third-round pick Ifeatu Melifonwu as a hybrid defensive back with the ability to play cornerback or safety, but if they need a true safety Johnson is the best available. He had four interceptions last season.

DB Shakur Brown, Michigan State

Brown might find his eventual home as a nickel cornerback in the NFL, but he can play safety, too. He plays faster than his clocked 40 time, but if he’s around in Round 5, the Lions could add some versatility to their secondary.

C Drew Dalman, Stanford

The Lions took the best offensive lineman in the draft in Round 1, but teams can never have too much depth upfront and the Lions do not have a clear-cut backup center right now. He is a heady player who started two seasons for the Cardinal.

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Edge Shaka Toney, Penn State

Would drafting three defensive linemen be overkill? Maybe, but Toney is more edge rusher than pure defensive end and he has the athletic profile the Lions like, running his 40-yard dash in the 4.5-second range at his pro day.

TE Zach Davison, Central Missouri

This is not a great tight end class, and I’m not sure the Lions would use even a fifth-round pick on the position, but Davison is an interesting prospect. He’s 6 feet 7, he doubled as his team’s punter and he’s an above-average athlete but raw as a player coming from Division II. The Lions don’t have a clear No. 3 tight end, so maybe they take a flyer on Davison in Round 5 or if they acquire more picks in a trade down.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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