The importance of pre-draft visits for the Lions is telling

Yardbarker

As we get closer to the 2024 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions are starting to rack up some top-30 visits. This week news dropped of meetings with Alabama corner Kool-Aid McKinstry and Utah safety Sione Vaki. 

Meetings are important to the Lions and that’s shown over time. They drafted four players that they had meetings with last year. In total, the Lions have had 12 players on the roster that they have had some sort of meeting with since 2021. By the way, 2021 was incredibly hard to track due to Covid-19 and a lot of meetings, if not all of them, were virtual and not a lot was reported. 

The four players the Lions had a meetings with last year were Sam LaPorta, Brian Branch, Hendon Hooker and Antoine Green. In 2022 they met with Aidan Hutchinson and in 2021 they met with Kerby Joseph, Levi Onwuzurkie and Ifeatu Melifonwu. 

Then there’s the undrafted guys. The Lions had meetings with Dylan Drummond, Isaac Darkangelo, Trevor Nowaske and Adrian Martinez last year. 

This year a thing we’re noticing is that the Lions are meeting with some of these players multiple times. Before we get farther into that, here’s the different types of meetings the Lions can have:

  • Senior Bowl: Teams can have meetings with players at the Senior Bowl. Basically every team talks to every player there.
  • NFL Combine formal meeting: There are formal and informal meetings at the combine. The formal ones are the ones to watch. That’s where the team takes a player into a room and goes over tape with them and interviews them. 
  • Pro day meeting: This is where teams pull a player aside at their pro day and have a meeting. Sometimes it can go farther than that like a team might take a player to dinner for example
  • Top-30 visit: This is where teams fly draft prospects in and have them in the building for a meeting. 
  • Local pro day: This is where teams will welcome in players from the local colleges to show what they got. This is where the Lions met Dylan Drummond last year for example. 

With that explanation out of the way, it’s hard to not take into account that the Lions are meeting with some player multiple times. Sione Vaki talked with the Lions at the Senior Bowl, had a formal meeting with them at the combine and then came in for a top 30. Kool-Aid McKinstry had a formal meeting at the combine and a top 30 with the Lions. That points to some very high interest from Detroit. 

There’s still more visits to be had and we may find that more players have had multiple meetings with the Lions. Those players immediately become guys to watch for this team.     

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