Lions Can Find Talent In Later Rounds

After exhausting potential first-round candidates, draft expert Josh Liskiewitz turns his attention to the second and later rounds of the NFL draft, where the results can often determine the fate of a franchise. Who fits the Detroit Lions' plans? Josh takes a look at the possibilities.

Josh Liskiewitz is an independent scout with GM Jr. Have a draft question? Give Josh a shout and be featured in his next mailbag.

Scouting Day 2

Up until this point I have focused almost exclusively on the first round (see: Setting The Board series), and it is now time to look at some of the lesser known prospects.  Here is a list of five prospects in both the second and third rounds that Detroit could consider come day two of the draft.

Coming ...
 4th and 5th Round
Wednesday: 6th and 7th Round

Scouting the
2nd Round


Scouting the
3rd Round

Rodney Hudson, OC Florida State
Randall Cobb, WR Kentucky
Detroit has struggled for years to run between the tackles, and Hudson has the strength and athleticism to play all three interior positions despite his average size.  He would certainly be the eventual replacement for longtime center Dominic Raiola, and I believe Hudson could be ready to supplant him as early as this year.   Cobb is not as well known as some of the other prospects at his position, but he would be a steal for Detroit in the third round.  He is an excellent route runner who is a big play threat once in the open field, and is also a very competitive blocker.  He would be able to play the slot immediately in Detroit, and would eventually be a dangerous #2 receiver opposite Calvin Johnson
Bruce Carter, OLB North Carolina
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB Oregon St
Carter is a first round talent that will fall to at least the second round because recent ACL surgery.  As long as the knee checks out, his talent out-weighs the risk and makes him well worth pick #44.  He has the size, athleticism and instincts to be a highly productive starter at any of the three linebacker positions for Detroit.   Rodgers had first round level production in college but his size and lack of top end speed will cause him to fall to day 2.  He game is very reminiscent of Maurice Jones-Drew, as he has great lower body bulk and runs with great quickness and surprising power.  By adding him, opposing defensive coordinators would have nightmares trying to figure out how to match up properly with both Rodgers and Best on the field at the same time.
Ras-I Dowling, DB Virginia
Stanley Havili, FB USC
Dowling was limited as a senior by injuries, and some question whether he may be a better off transitioning to safety once in the NFL.  Detroit has glaring needs at both, and would love to add a back seven player to the starting lineup with his size and athleticism.   With so many other needs it may seem odd to target a FB in round 3, but Havili is much more than just a lead blocker.  He has the athleticism to run effectively inside and out, and would be a highly productive receiver out of the backfield as well.  He is capable of being as productive an every down player as Peyton Hillis of Cleveland.
Stefan Wisniewski, OC PSU
Chris Carter, OLB Fresno State
Like Hudson, Wisniewski is a tough and athletic interior lineman that is capable of starting immediately.  He fights to the whistle on every snap, and has the quickness and intelligence to be a consistent pass blocker.   Carter played DE in college and while he is considered a pass rushing specialist, he was very impressive throughout East West Shrine bowl week in linebacker drills, showing the speed and athleticism to play strong side backer in Detroit’s 4-3 defense.  He will certainly need time to develop as he changes positions, but his versatility could make him a productive starter for the Lions in a year or two.
Ryan Williams, RB Virginia Tech
Daniel Kilgore, OG App. State
If Williams had stayed healthy in 2010 and had production anywhere comparable to his 2009 season, everyone would be talking about him as a potential top ten pick.  After struggling thru injuries his entire sophomore (redshirt) year and posting a very average 4.59 40 at the combine, he may now be available in the second round.  While his explosiveness and elusiveness makes him the top RB in this draft class, it’s his power and aggressiveness running between the tackles that makes him a great fit in Detroit.   Kilgore had a great week in San Antonio at the Texas vs. The Nation game, as NFL scouts were impressed with his competitiveness and nasty demeanor.  He played left tackle at Appalachian State, and if he had better height and length I think he could start on the outside in the NFL.  He has outstanding foot quickness in pass protection, and his demeanor is exactly what the Lions have been missing on the inside for more than a decade.

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