The Visitors: Part Eight

Not every exciting draft prospect can run the 40 in under five seconds, and as uninspiring an offensive tackle might be, the Detroit Lions could use the help up front. And Miami product Eric Winston could be their man. Part eight in a (now) 17 part series covering an EXCLUSIVE list of draft prospects that Detroit has visited with. In-depth bio and more inside.

Roar Report has compiled an exclusive list of (currently 17) players that the Detroit Lions have either privately worked out and visited with or will have visit their facility in Allen Park.

Between now and the draft, we will provide overviews of all players that have gotten an additional investment of time from the Lions scouting staff. At least two draft target reports will be published every day for Roar Report subscribers.

(8 OF 17)
NAME Eric Winston
POSITION Offensive Tackle
#3 @ OT
#34 Overall
INTERACTION Visited Allen Park
Dallas Cowboys (known) Prospect Profile ...

Full Name: Eric Winston School: Miami-Fl Pos: T

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 310 40: 4.97 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Former tight end who moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore. All-Conference selection as a senior and awarded the Jacobs Trophy as the top lineman in the ACC. Started the first four games of his junior campaign, then suffered a torn ligament in his left knee, ending his season.

Pos: Athletic blocker with terrific upside for the next level. Patient, makes effective use of angles and is a strong position blocker. Stays square, jolts defenders with hand punch then turns them off the line. Blocks with good lean and a wide base. Alert and works well with teammates. Displayed improved blocking strength as a senior.

Neg: Lacks top blocking range and not quick-footed. Did not distinguish himself during his senior campaign.

Analysis: A former top 10 selection prior to his knee injury, Winston never seemed completely healthy in ‘05. Previously displayed the skills teams want in a left tackle and could be a bargain in April's draft for a franchise which patiently coaxes him back to form.

Lions Interest: Definitely not a sexy pick. Definitely not the No. 9 overall pick. But certainly a possibility of a pick. If Winston lasts until the second round, where the Lions pick 40th overall, it's a very realistic possibility that Detroit could snare the Miami product. The Lions thought high enough of Winston to fly him into their Allen Park headquarters last week, but his stock is public and rising. Since January, Winston has jumped from an early second round consideration to mid-to-late first round status. However, given the plethora of offensive line talent in the draft (Detroit is also considering Oklahoma OG Davin Joseph, who could be available at 40 as well), the team might have their options. Detroit seems content with Kelly Butler and Jeff Backus at each tackle position, but they would rather be comfortable. In addition, the guard spot still isn't completely satisfied. Again, it's unsexy, but Millen and co.'s biggest statement in this draft could very well be the offensive line. Kevin Jones and Jon Kitna will thank him later.

Other material ...

- Eric Winston NFL Combine journal

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