Lions’ 2022 Combine Standouts: Georgia Defenders Rising to Top

Jordan Davis

Getty Jordan Davis while on the field in 2021 for Georgia.

The 2022 NFL combine allowed teams a chance to get a look at the best of the best in terms of college talent, and now that the event is over, a clearer picture can emerge as it relates to who really impressed during the event.

The Detroit Lions were likely observing very closely, and might have a clear picture of the type of talented prospect that exists to them at multiple spots on offense and defense this week. There were tons of prospects to raise eyebrows with their work on the field, but only a select few should have stood out above the rest to the Lions.

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Which players managed to impress the most from the Detroit perspective this week? Here’s a look at some of the best of the best in terms of the names.

Jordan Davis, Defensive Line, Georgia

Many folks may have been stunned to see the Lions on the radar for Davis in an early mock draft a few weeks back, but after what happened at the combine, the team may be fortunate to land him with the 32nd pick. Davis managed to put a freakish looking 4.7 40 yard-dash on the field and showed the kind of lateral movement abilities and athleticism that teams could covet in a versatile interior lineman.

Do the Lions want to gamble with taking yet another interior lineman after doing that with a pair of picks in 2021 in the form of Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill? The overall skill and freakish look of Davis might make that very appealing in the end for the team. Detroit may have to deal up for Davis if they do like him that much considering how well he tested. Could he be in-play for the second-overall pick? Stay tuned for that.

Travon Walker, Defensive End, Georgia

A usual theme to develop from early in the 2022 draft process has shown the Lions being interested in either Aiden Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux along the defensive front. What if the Lions feel as if they could get a similar or better player later on, though? That could be just where Walker comes in after he enjoyed an electric weekend on the field in Indianapolis. His 4.5 40 yard-dash was simply an unheard of athletic feat for a man of his size.

Walker could be a player that interests the Lions later in the first-round in a situation if they select a quarterback or different position with their second-overall pick. Could Walker go that high himself? Possibly so after a combine many consider to be an all-timer for a defensive lineman.

Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty

Willis had already been seen as a standout from the Senior Bowl, and his performance in Indianapolis has left folks wondering if perhaps the Lions will indeed take the plunge with the second-overall pick. Willis looked sharp in his on-field drills, and while he did not run the 40 yard-dash, most folks already understand what he brings to the table from a quickness and elusiveness standpoint on the field. In terms of arm strength, Willis showed why few will rival him in this class in drills. Off the field, Willis was just as rock solid with a show of generosity that managed to go viral during the week.

Most thoughts holds that a quarterback isn’t going to go very high in 2022, but Willis could be the one to break that mold. Detroit coached him at the Senior Bowl, so it’s likely they already know the book on him. The combine performance could have sewn up an early spot in the Motor City for Willis in what would be a move many would consider a shock.

Chris Olave, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

It could have been easy for a player like Olave to get lost in a deep receiver class, but he ensured there would be no talk of that with a blazing 4.39 40 yard-dash as well as some solid on the field work that showed his overall fluidity in drills. Olave is the kind of receiver that would work well in the Detroit offense given his ability to stretch the field and take the top off of a defense, and he showed that yet again with a great job in the combine. He’s also a great overall athlete as he showed in the gauntlet drill:

The Lions may need to think about moving up from the 32nd pick if they want to land a player like Olave and view him as a missing piece to their offense. This is a very deep wideout class, however, so the team might simply be content to watch how the board falls for them. Still, Olave’s performance should have been very tough for a team with playmaking needs like Detroit to ignore.

Chad Muma, Linebacker, Wyoming

If there’s a glaring hole on the Lions, it’s at the linebacker spot. The team not only needs playmakers, but they need steady players as well. Muma showed up with a solid combine running a 4.6 40 yard-dash and also looking like a solid mover along with a strong player given 27 bench press reps. He’s going to be picked in the top half of the draft now, and the Lions need to look at him as a potential Chris Spielman type anchor for the future of their defense after watching him closely on the field.

Muma is the kind of player that just feels like a Detroit fixture already given how hard he works and how gritty he is. If the Lions managed to land him, they would likely not be disappointed. The team needs a defensive identity and heartbeat and Muma could provide it.

READ NEXT: Lions Chances of Drafting Malik Willis Revealed

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