Best Day 3, UDFA players remaining for the Detroit Lions

Pride of Detroit

Barring a trade, the Detroit Lions have two picks remaining in the 2021 NFL Draft: No. 112 in the fourth round and No. 153 in the fifth. After that, the Lions would have to turn their attention to the undrafted free agent (UDFA) market.

There is still plenty of talent remaining in the draft pool, and with the Lions holding the seventh pick in the next round, they have a chance to land another quality player who could legitimately challenge to start somewhere on the roster.

Let’s take a quick look at how each position has played out through the first two days, examine the top players remaining, identify the top one the Lions could target, and add in a few potential UDFAs.

Quarterback

So far eight quarterbacks have been selected and the only one remaining on my draft board with a draftable grade is Jamie Newman (Georgia). With the needs elsewhere on the roster and his value checking on as late Day 3 for me, I’d be surprised if we saw the Lions take a dip here.

UDFA watch:

  • Sam Ehlinger, Texas
  • Shane Buechele, SMU

Running back

Only four backs have been taken in the first 105 selections leaving quite a few quality rotational players available. Here are the top five available:

  • Michael Carter, North Carolina
  • Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis
  • Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma
  • Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech
  • Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

UDFA watch:

  • Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
  • Kene Nwangwu, Iowa State
  • Pooka Williams, Kansas
  • Jake Funk, Maryland

Wide receiver

Still plenty of talented players who could make an impact on the Lions roster, especially in the slot.

  • Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
  • Cade Johnson, South Dakota State
  • Cornell Powell, Clemson
  • Jaelon Darden, North Texas

UDFA Watch:

  • Racey McMath, LSU
  • Connor Wedington, Stanford
  • Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M

Tight end

Only five tight ends have heard their name called during the first two days, leaving a few quality players still available. With Hunter Bryant landing on reserve/NFI this week, and a former tight end for a head coach, don’t dismiss the Lions investing here.

  • Brevin Jordan, Miami
  • Jacob Harris, UCF
  • Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi
  • Tony Poljan, Virginia
  • Noah Gray, Duke

UDFA watch:

  • Zach Davidson, Central Missouri
  • Nick Eubanks, Michigan
  • Luke Farrell, Ohio State
  • Pro Wells, TCU

Offensive line

Despite selecting Penei Sewell in the first round, GM Brad Holmes has shown he’s not afraid of double-dipping on the line in this draft. This is an incredibly deep class and the Lions could find a long-term competitor on the interior.

  • Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
  • Deonte Brown, RG, Alabama
  • Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
  • James Hudson, T/G, Cincinnati
  • Drew Dalman, IOL, Stanford

UDFA watch:

  • Jimmy Morrissey, IOL, Pittsburgh
  • Cole Van Lanen, T/G, Wisconsin
  • Carson Green, T/G, Texas A&M

Interior defensive line

The Lions can’t take a third defensive tackle right? Right?

  • Daviyon Nixon, 3T, Iowa
  • Jay Tufele, 3T, USC
  • Tommy Togiai, 1T, Ohio State
  • Cameron Sample, 3/5T, Tulane
  • Bobby Brown III, 1T, Texas A&M

UDFA watch:

  • Darius Stills, 3T, West Virginia
  • TQ Graham, 3T, Texas
  • Naquan Jones, NT, Michigan State
  • Roy Lopez, 1T, New Mexico State

EDGE

Six went in the first 32 picks but only seven more went in the next 73, leaving a bunch of developmental players available.

  • Jordan Smith, UAB
  • Patrick Johnson, Tulane
  • Chares Snowden, Virginia
  • Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
  • Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa

UDFA watch:

  • William Bradley-King, Baylor
  • Shaka Toney, Penn State
  • Darius Hodge, Marshall

Linebacker

The Lions should be on the lookout for elite athletes who can be part of a rotation and help in coverage. And there’s a great one at the top of this list who is very much worth the Lions’ top pick on Day 3.

  • Jabril Cox, LSU — the top player remaining on my board
  • Cameron McGrone, Michigan
  • Dylan Moses, Alabama
  • Derrick Barnes, Purdue
  • Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M

UDFA Watch:

  • Riley Cole, South Alabama
  • Anthony Hines, Texas A&M
  • Curtis Robinson, Stanford

Cornerback

While the Lions just selected Ifeatu Melifonwu at the end of the third round, they could still in the market for more depth, especially in the slot.

  • Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
  • Shaun Wade, NB, Ohio State
  • Shakur Brown, NB/CB, Michigan State
  • Tre Brown, NB, Oklahoma
  • Trill Williams, CB/S, Syracuse

UDFA watch:

  • Darren Hall, San Diego State
  • Rodarius Williams, Oklahoma State
  • Shemar Jean-Charles Appalachian State
  • Avery Williams, Boise State — also a returner
  • Brandin Echols, Kentucky

Safety

Here’s another spot where the top player available could immediately challenge for a starting role. Holmes has been a wizard at finding starting safeties on Day 3 of the draft and don’t forget, he touted this as a deep safety class.

  • Jamar Johnson, Indiana — the second-best player available on my board
  • ArDarius Washington, TCU
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State
  • Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
  • Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh

UDFA watch:

  • Shawn Davis, Florida
  • Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati
  • Tyler Coyle, Purdue
  • Zayne Anderson, BYU

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