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Five possible Detroit Lions 2020 draft prospects: Week 11


Justin Rogers   | The Detroit News

Allen Park — Each week during the college football season, we'll highlight five prospects with locally-televised matchups who could be a fit for the Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL Draft, based on the team's projected needs.

Every week, the list will aim to highlight a variety of early-, mid- and late-round prospects. This will give you a chance to watch the players performing live, instead of playing catch-up the weeks before the draft.

Jon Greenard, DE, Florida

Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida | Noon | ESPN

A graduate transfer, Greenard jumped into a starting role with the Gators, filling the rush linebacker role previously manned by Jachai Polite. After missing the 2018 season with a wrist injury, Greenard has picked up where he left off from his time at Louisville, recording 37 tackles and 4.0 sacks through seven games. 

As a junior in 2017, nearly a third of his 48 tackles came behind the line of scrimmage. He possesses good burst off the edge with a healthy set of pass-rush moves that allow him to challenge opposing offensive linemen.  

Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota (No. 6)

No. 5 Penn State at No. 13 Minnesota | Noon | ABC

Detroit's receiving corps are flying high right now, with Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay racking up big plays and touchdowns and Danny Amendola moving the chains running underneath routes. But change is coming to the group, sooner than later, given the 34-year-old Amendola is working on an expiring contract and Jones' deal expiring in 2020. 

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Johnson has been one of the brightest spots on the undefeated Gophers' roster. Following up his 78-catch, 12-touchdown junior season, he's made 43 grabs, including seven scores, through eight games in 2019. 

Similar to Jones, Johnson's hands and body control are standout parts of his game. 

Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama (No. 74)

No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama | 3:30 p.m. | CBS

In his third season with the Lions, right tackle Rick Wagner is not living up to his lofty contract, and while he remains under control for two more seasons, the team should consider replacement options. 

Enter Wills, an absolutely dominant run blocker on the right side for the Crimson Tide. He might not be the lightest on his feet, but the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder is going to move mountains and shut down any attempts to bull him on the pass rush. 

Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech (No. 21)

North Texas at Louisiana Tech | 4 p.m. | Stadium on Facebook

Yeah, if you're actually taking the time to tune into some of these games, I'm sending you to Facebook to catch Robertson, because there aren't too many chances to see Louisiana Tech around these parts. 

The last time the Lions selected a defensive back from the state, they snagged Tracy Walker. So far, that's looking like a pretty good pull for general manager Bob Quinn. 

Physically, Robertson is a completely different player. Walker is tall with long limbs, while Robertson is listed at 5-foot-9 and might be even shorter when he's measured at combine, assuming he's invited. But undersized or not, he makes plays, and he makes them in droves. 

Robertson leads all of D-I in pass defenses, which includes five interceptions. He looks like a slot, but he has the athleticism to play outside, similar to Detroit's current nickelback, Justin Coleman. 

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson (No. 11)

No. 4 Clemson at N.C. State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

Let's get this out of the way: I don't know what position Simmons projects to as a professional. At Clemson, he plays off the ball as an outside linebacker, but with the wide hashes in the college game, that doesn't necessarily translate to the next level.

Simmons is tall, 6-foot-4, but also light for a linebacker, weighing 230 pounds. It's unclear how he'd handle filling the run gaps between the tackles, but his athleticism on the edge and in coverage is rare. Think of him as a far better version of what the Lions hoped Miles Killebrew would become. 

So far this season, the do-everything Butkus finalists has 66 tackles, 6.0 sacks, four pass defenses and two forced fumbles. A good coach, regardless of scheme, can find a way to utilize a player with Simmons' talents.