Another Senior Bowl has come and gone leaving in its wake a host of players with potentially bright futures on the football field. The South shut down the North en-route to a 20-10 win, and along the way, plenty of players emerged who could help the Detroit Lions in 2014.
Who managed to have the best day from a Detroit perspective? Here's a look at five possible choices as the Lions look at the possibility of a few quality upper classmen to fill out their draft needs.
1. Chris Davis, CB, Auburn. As always, Detroit's in need of more secondary help, and considering Davis might also have the ability to spell Jeremy Ross in special teams with speed to burn, he could become an intriguing option. All in all, Davis had a solid Senior Bowl, corralling an interception. While Davis only stands at 5-9, speed might make him intriguing to the Lions, who want to get faster. Also keep an eye on Nevin Lawson (Utah State), who also collected an interception, plays a bit more physically and might be of interest to defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who has had a penchant for working with physical, aggressive corners.
2. Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama. With money perhaps a bit tight in free agency, the Lions are likely going to take two wide receivers at some point during the draft, meaning even if they end up with a Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans or Travis Benjamin early on, they might like to add someone later in the draft as well. Norwood would be an excellent player to monitor, considering his sure hands and solid route running ability. He caught a touchdown on Saturday, and also had a solid 53 yards receiving. Norwood is the kind of dependable target Matthew Stafford could use to keep his passing game consistent and move chains.
3. Cody Parkey, K, Auburn. It's no secret Detroit needs a new kicker coming off the David Akers experience, and Parkey upstaged Chris Boswell (Rice) his main competition a bit by nailing a 50 yard field goal and a solid 39 yard attempt. Including two extra points, Parkey collected eight points in the game and looked as if he could be worth a late round pick. Other teams have found plug and play success lately with kickers from the SEC (Minnesota and Blair Walsh, Kansas City with Ryan Succop) so keep an eye on Parkey late in the weekend.
4. Crokett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State. If the Lions decide to make the tough choice and let Brandon Pettigrew walk, Gilmore could be an interesting pick up in the middle rounds as a replacement tight end. He had a coming out party on Saturday as the South's leading receiver, and made a nice catch of a touchdown. Gillmore didn't have a fantastic season with regards to yardage (577) and touchdowns (two) but at 6-6 and 255 pounds with agility, he's the kind of sure-handed, physical target that could remind Jim Caldwell of Dallas Clark or Joe Lombardi of Jimmy Graham.
5. Michael Sam, DE, Missouri. Sam had one sack Saturday, but didn't jump off the page like fellow edge rusher Dee Ford (Auburn) who collected two with plenty of quarterback hurries and was named the MVP. Ford will probably shoot up the draft boards now. Despite that, the Lions might still like to add an edge rusher, and many have hinted that Sam could also project to play outside linebacker, which is also a position of need for Detroit. Could he become a versatile player the Lions covet thanks to these abilities? On the interior, Detroit could also add a player, and Caraun Reid (Princeton) collected two sacks while remaining a solid run stopper. He could become one to watch in the third to fifth round.
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