Prospects the Lions Need to Move to the Top of Their Draft Board

With the draft less than one week away new talent continues to spring into the spotlight. Some players stocks dropping tremendously, cough cough, Kayshon Boutte, and some players stock shooting to an all time high, Anthony Richardson. While the draft does not determine one’s career potential, it definitely allows for teams to see what players have the football genes, and what players simply just don’t. It is a huge stepping stone into what teams decide for what player they will pick, however, for players, it can be a huge deal breaker for whether you make millions, or simply just a million. Although there were loads of standouts in the NFL Combine, there were a few that stood out just enough that I think the Lions should be all in on.

Zay Flowers
Simply just wow. Everyone was hyping up the Boston College standout and the combine showed why. Flowers ran a 4.42 forty, had a 35 ½” vertical–at 5’9– and had a broad jump of 10’7”. All while putting on 15 extra pounds of muscle and, still, being 5’9. I mean he showed he is a generational talent by a mile. Plus, in recent articles I have said the Lions need a true wide receiver two. Zay Flowers is the perfect man for that. He is fast, shifty, and an amazing route runner. After the combine, there is no reason why Zay Flowers isn’t at the top of the Lions draft board. It simply just would be shocking if the Lions take a receiver, that isn’t either Zay Flowers, or Jaxon Smith-Njgiba.

Nolan Smith
Just like Flowers, Nolan Smith had an overall draft stock of a mid-first rounder. However, after the combine, things have definitely changed–and for the better. You see, Nolan Smith is a literal freak athlete. He produced just as, if not more, than what Zay Flowers did. Nolan Smith ran a 4.39 forty, jumped into a 41 ½” vertical, and leapt to a 10’8” broad jump. Mind you Zay Flowers is 5’9” and 182 pounds. Nolan Smith is 238 pounds and 6’2”. Could you imagine that lined up on the edge? A Lions defense featuring Nolan Smith, James Houston, and Aidan Hutchinson would be menacing to any team. Especially in an offensive line depleted division like the NFC North. As long as the Lions develop Smith properly, their defense will bloom into a young threat for years to come.

Darnell Washington
I mentioned Darnell Washington in past articles and man did he make me look good. Like I said, the guy is a freak athlete for how big he is. If the Lions got him, it would fill all of the needs for tight ends. He has a big frame to block efficiently and catch highly contested throws. The funny thing is, he is referred to as the sixth lineman. If he can act like one in the NFL, he will be what TJ Hockenson was and more. He has the speed as well, running a 4.64 second forty. I truly think that Washington can be the vertical threat the Lions offense desperately needs, especially since DJ Chark might be leaving.

Christian Gonzalez
Cornerback is another problem the Lions need to fix. Ranking as a bottom five pass defense last season, they need that extra boost to get them out of the horrid club to be in. Christian Gonzalez can be just that. Christian put on an athletic clinic at the combine, recording a 4.38 second forty, a 41 ½” vertical, and a 11 ‘1” broad jump. On this whole list Gonzalez is easily the most athletic. If you pair him up with young cornerback Jeff Okudah, I think you could, potentially, have a dominant cornerback duo for years to come in Detroit.
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