Lions 2024 Draft Prospect of the Day: Kingsley Suamataia, OL, BYU

USA Today

The Lions Draft Prospect of the Day is back after a week-long hiatus during the NFL Scouting Combine.

The focus is on players who should hold some appeal to the Lions in the draft, with a focus on the more likely positions the team will be targeting. If you’re looking for quarterbacks or upper-echelon running backs, you’re probably not going to find those here. Outside cornerbacks, defensive linemen, interior offensive linemen, some wide receivers and offensive tackles figure to appear along the path to April’s draft. Not all of the players will be top-100 prospects, either.

Today’s prospect is an offensive tackle with some family ties to another Lions lineman.

Kingsley Suamataia, Offensive tackle, BYU

Height: 6-foot-4 1/2 

Weight: 326 (measured at combine)

Suamataia (pronounced soo-uh-mah-tah-EE-uh) is an experienced starter at both offensive tackle spots. The Oregon transfer played the 2022 season as the Cougars’ starter at right tackle before moving to the left side in 2023. The 21-year-old is a cousin of Lions All-Pro right tackle Penei Sewell and was a high school teammate of Rams WR Puka Nacua in Utah.

What I like

  •  Giant frame that carries 326 pounds comfortably
  • Big (over 10″) hands with impressive grip strength and a powerful initial punch
  • Plays with violence in the run game, not afraid to get after defenders
  • Moves well laterally in pass protection with active feet and impressive range on the edge
  • Can seek and destroy targets in space in the run game
  • Adapted well to the left side after some early struggles in switching from the right
  • He’s ambidextrous and has a boxing background
  • Recognizes twists and blitz pickups well
  • Has proven to be coachable and just turned 21; best football is still ahead of him

What worries me going into the NFL

  •  Very upright and tall in his initial 2-pt. stance
  • Tends to rise upright once engaged in pass protection, even if he initially has the leverage
  • Initial punch and follow-up/recovery arm speed is slow and often also too high
  • Gives up his chest early and can get jolted on a bull rush (see Utah ’22 and Texas games)
  • Will get caught shifting his weight too far to the outside in pass protection against wide-aligned rushers

Best game I watched: Oklahoma

Worst game I watched: Texas


Suamataia entered the 2023 college season as a fixture in the first round of 2024 mock drafts. It took him some early struggles in shifting from the right side to the left before he looked anything close to a top-50 pick, but the spirited youngster quietly finished his final season playing very well. 

Despite being kin of Penei Sewell, his game as it stands now is more like Lions OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who played well at right guard after struggling with speed and pad level at right tackle. He’s rawer and less athletic than his celebrated cousin, and the need for technical refinement really showed during Senior Bowl week.

Unless he quickly improves his hand placement and upright stance, Suamataia will probably need to kick inside to guard. That’s not an issue for the Lions, who are set at starting OT but need instant help at guard. It would likely take the Lions second-round pick to land Suamataia, and he might very well be long gone by No. 61 overall. He’s less NFL-ready than a lot of other prospects at either position, so be careful with expectations.

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