3 College Linebackers Lions Should Keep an Eye On
Linebacker was far from a strong suit on the Lions' roster in 2019.
If the group continues to struggle this upcoming season, it could be a position the front office targets in next year's NFL Draft.
If so, here are three college prospects Detroit should pursue:
1.) Micah Parsons, Penn State
He's the definition of the real deal, and the consensus so far is that he's the best linebacker in the 2021 draft class.
Heck, Pro Football Focus says that he's "as complete a linebacker prospect as we’ve seen in our six years of grading at PFF."
He amassed 109 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and five passes defensed in 2019.
As national 247Sports expert Charles Power writes,
"Micah Parsons looks like he’s primed to be the best defensive player in college football next season. The last time we saw Parsons, he was absolutely dominant in the Cotton Bowl to the tune of 14 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. A first-team All-American in 2019, the former five-star is primed to explode.”
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Parsons ranked as the No. 5 prospect on his 2021 big board.
So, if the Lions want to get their hands on him, they'll have to take him early on in round one of next April's draft.
2.) Dylan Moses, Alabama
Moses is the No. 1 inside linebacker on Kiper's big board and for good reason.
He missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL that he suffered in training camp.
When he's healthy, though, there's no doubt that he's one of the three best linebackers in the entire 2021 draft class.
He finished the 2018 campaign with 86 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. And all of this came while he fought with other linebackers for playing time.
If he manages to stay healthy in 2020, he'll easily be a top draft pick next spring.
3.) Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
The former quarterback has only played one season at linebacker so far in his time at UNC. But, man, did he turn heads when he lined up at the position for the first time a year ago.
He racked up 115 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and an interception.
Most impressively, his 31 quarterback pressures ranked No. 7 among Power 5 linebackers, according to Pro Football Focus.
Surratt, who will be a redshirt senior in the fall, is presently the No. 2 inside linebacker on Kiper's big board for 2021.