QB, Possible Elite Cornerback Linger as Top Day 3 Options for Lions

Coby Bryant

Getty Cincinnati's Coby Bryant making a play in the 2021 Peach Bowl.

As the Detroit Lions head into the final day of the 2022 NFL draft, the team is well-positioned to be able to add some more talent to the roster to help them in meaningful ways.

The Lions don’t pick until 177 in the fifth-round, but after that, do have a flurry of selections at 181 and then 217 to close out their draft assuming no more additions. The team could always trade up as they have done in the past, though, in order to secure a player they think fits them well that could be slipping.

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What players make the most sense for the Lions today given their current needs and picking philosophy on display? Here’s a look at the names to remember for Detroit on the draft’s final day.

UTSA CB Tariq Woolen

Perhaps not the biggest name in the class at the position, Woolen has still come on very strong late in the pre-draft process and could be a middle-round hidden gem for the Lions to find. The team will know him from the Senior Bowl, and while his numbers aren’t eye-popping, he is a speedy player who could work his way into the rotation at cornerback in time. 65 tackles, 2 interceptions and 9 passes defended in college won’t get a player on a lot of big time radars, but watching the tape, the game is evident.

Tariq Woolen HighlightsNFL draft cornerback prospect Tariq Woolen Highlights2022-01-28T17:30:58Z

Woolen would be another big addition for the group who added Jerry Jacobs, AJ Parker and others in 2021 and has found a way to mine gold. He could simply be another speedy stud that could grow into a star in Detroit if the team can find a way to add him.

Cincinnati CB Coby Bryant

It’s a big-time name for a big-time prospect that could likely be had a bit further down the draft board this year. The Lions coached him at the Senior Bowl, so they will likely be watching to see what plays out with Bryant during the draft, especially given what he has done statistically to this point. In his career with Cincinnati, Bryant put up 170 tackles and 9 interceptions. Here’s a look at his tape:

Coby Bryant || UC Bearcats Defensive Back || 2021 HighlightsCoby Bryant 2021 season highlights. 38 Total Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 3 Forced Fumbles, 3 Interceptions, 11 Passes Deflected. Bryant is a projected mid round draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. We do not own the copyrights to this footage, it belongs to ESPN, and their affiliates. All things shown in the video…2021-12-02T04:27:39Z

The Lions were likely hoping Bryant could stay under the radar a bit, so mission accomplished. He’s a good scheme fit for Detroit and could be the perfect player to help them turn things around and add more depth on the back end. Detroit may have to come up and get him.

UNC QB Sam Howell

It took a while for quarterbacks to start flying off the board, but there was a small run on them in the second and third round. Howell is the last of the top options the Lions should consider for 2022. Howell remains an interesting potential selection for the team. He had thrown for 7,227 yards in his career and 68 touchdowns with just 14 interceptions entering this season. In 2021, Howell threw for 3,056 yards and 24 touchdowns. Now he is lurking as a potential value fit for a team like Detroit who is needy at the position.

Here’s a look at some of Howell’s highlights from 2020:

North Carolina QB Sam Howell 2020 Highlights ❄️❄️❄️ ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ Twitter: twitter.com/JBP_Official Patreon: patreon.com/justbombsproductions Facebook: facebook.com/Just-Bombs-Productions-255863801590167/ North Carolina QB Sam Howell Sophomore 6’1 225 lbs North Carolina QB Sam Howell is one of the top prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft. Ever since his first collegiate start, he has been…2021-05-26T00:00:00Z

Obviously, Howell was not a day one or two player, but he becomes a sneaky value play on day three if the Lions decide to go in the quarterback direction. If they avoid Howell, they won’t consider the spot until 2023.

Washington OL Luke Wattenberg

Detroit’s offensive line has been rejuvenated in recent seasons, and looks to be strong. Why not add one more piece late that could end up making it even stronger for the future? Wattenberg is solid against the pass, but could show as a road-grading run blocker. This fits what Hank Fraley, Dan Campbell and company want to see from their offensive lineman. Most players taken late in the seventh-round become projects, and Wattenberg would have a long road to make the team and stick it out given what is on the roster ahead of him, but has plenty of upside. Here’s a look at some highlights:

Luke Wattenberg Center HighlightsNFL Center Prospect Luke Wattenberg Highlights2022-03-30T16:35:59Z

Wattenberg has position versatility up front which is significant for Detroit. As late gambles go for the offensive interior, this could be a good one for Detroit.

Michigan State TE/HB Connor Heyward

After signing Garrett Griffin, the Lions might need one more addition to the position. Another local prospect could help in providing it late. The son of former Pittsburgh legend Craig “Ironhead” Heyward and current Steelers star Cameron Heyward has good NFL bloodlines and would fit the mold of what the Lions are trying to build from a toughness standpoint. He also has great stats, with 825 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns to go with 711 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Here’s a look at one of his best plays of the 2021 season:

Connor Heyward = George Kittle 2.0 | WHAT AN ANIMAL 💪2021-09-26T00:31:53Z

Heyward could be a sneaky good addition to the Lions, and could help improve the team’s depth at tight end as well as offer a potential dual role for the offense. He seems to fit what Dan Campbell and the staff is about already, which could put him firmly on the team’s radar for the draft. Remember him with a late pick.

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