The coaching staff of the Detroit Lions will have an opportunity at the Senior Bowl to scout and observe the performance of several top college prospects.
At the quarterback position, Malik Willis, Sam Howell and Bailey Zappe will work with Detroit's coaching staff in Mobile, Ala.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes expressed to reporters at his season-ending media session the draft is full of players who could aid the Lions in upcoming seasons.
“I hope it’s a difference-maker, if it’s two. But, we’re still going through that process now. Again, like I was saying, we’ll kind of talk about that later on down in the process, and hopefully we get some more clarity, starting as early as we do (with) the Senior Bowl. But, I do think it is a good draft, though," Holmes said. "It is a good draft at pretty much all positions, really. I think that we’ll be in a good spot.”
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One NFL Draft analyst believes Howell will make waves when the opportunity presents itself to showcase his arm talent.
"Detroit Lions fans, get prepared. I think UNC QB Sam Howell is gonna be a huge story at the Senior Bowl, and rightly so," draft analyst Scott Bischoff posted on social media. "His arm is gonna pop down there. He’s getting knocked for the 2021 film, but go back to 2020 and watch him work with Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome."
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and several pundits have already mocked Howell to Detroit, with the team's second of two first-round draft choices in the 2022 NFL Draft.
"I’m not sold on Jared Goff being Detroit’s guy past 2022, so why not take a quarterback flier here with the pick it got from the trade with the Rams? By taking Howell in Round 1, the Lions would get his fifth-year option, which means they could hand over the reins in 2023," Kiper explained.
Kiper continued, "Yes, they have a lot of needs. But, if they think they can get their future starting signal-caller, they should pounce. Howell is a tricky evaluation, and he could definitely drop to Round 2. He looked like a potential top-10 pick after his sophomore season in 2020. At the beginning of the 2021 season, though, he really struggled, and he put a lot of bad tape out there while throwing to a completely new set of pass-catchers. He settled back in and improved down the stretch, finishing with 24 touchdown passes and nine picks, plus 11 rushing scores. He throws a beautiful deep ball, and has tremendous touch on passes."