Pair of Michigan Studs Lead Lions’ Must-Watch 2023 Shrine Bowl List

Jake Moody

Getty Michigan's Jake Moody celebrates a 2022 field goal vs. Michigan State.

The Detroit Lions are getting their pre-draft analysis period going, and it will begin with not only the Senior Bowl this week, but the East-West Shrine Bowl as well.

While the former will always make a lot more headlines than the latter, there is no debating the fact that there will be several talented players the team can identify when the other game plays out on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. EST.

This year, there are no shortage of players that the Lions can look at when the game gets underway, and not surprisingly, two of the players will be from their own backyard and the Michigan Wolverines.

What else will the Lions need to watch? Here’s a closer look at the names to lock in on this week.

Jake Moody, Kicker, Michigan

Late in the season, the Lions seemed to stabilize their erratic kicking game with the addition of Michael Badgley, who went an impressive 20-24 with the team.

Badgley, though, might not have the long leg strength overall the Lions crave. That’s where Michigan’s Jake Moody comes in. Moody has enjoyed a sterling college career with the Wolverines, going 69-84 in college, for an 82% conversion rate. Moody also never missed an extra point in college, and has a 59 yard field goal to his credit this past year as a Lou Groza Award finalist.

Moody could be worth a late-round flier to add to the kicker room for Detroit, especially if the team wants to put some heat on Badgley to win the job again next year. Seeing how Moody can do in this game for the West Team will be important to watch for Detroit.

Luke Schoonmaker, Tight End, Michigan

Detroit elected for a big move at tight end this past season, dealing T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota for a second-round pick in 2023. While the Lions didn’t feel the loss of Hockenson deeply on the field, they could also need some more depth at the position.

Luke Schoonmaker has been very productive for Michigan overall in his career, posting 637 yards and seven touchdowns in his career for the Wolverines. At 6’5″ and 250 pounds, he also has the kind of size to be a good weapon for the Lions down the field.

Detroit has names such as Shane Zylstra, Brock Wright and James Mitchell on the roster at the position, so a player like Schoonmaker in the middle rounds could be a good depth idea for the Lions.

Mohamed Ibrahim, Running Back, Minnesota

The Lions may or may not have a big need at running back this offseason depending on what happens with pending free agent Jamaal Williams in addition to D’Andre Swift, who could always be traded.

Regardless, Mohamed Ibrahim is good enough that the Lions could elect to look at him in the middle rounds for a third running back role. The Minnesota runner had some terrible injury luck in college, tearing his Achilles during the 2021 season. He responded to put up 1,665 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2022, however. He also led the Big Ten in rushing in 2020 as well as 2022.

Ibrahim finished his college career as the Golden Gophers’ single season leader in touchdowns, rushing attempts (320), rushing yards and total points. He is a powerful runner and a player that could be an intriguing add for Detroit’s offense down the draft board.

Zay Flowers, Wide Receiver, Boston College

In terms of players from the Shrine Bowl that could be major impact players at the next level and even potential first-round picks, Zay Flowers name comes up first.

The Boston College receiver had a fantastic college career, going for 3,056 yards, 200 receptions and 29 career touchdowns. The numbers prove what the tape has always shown about Flowers: he’s a big play waiting to happen on the field.

Detroit might not look like they need a receiver right now, but Flowers is an interesting player to watch given his home run ability. If DJ Chark departs, the team could need another young weapon for Jared Goff. Flowers, with his speed and big play ability, could be an intriguing addition for the team.

He’s the top wideout to watch in the Shrine Bowl this year, and the Lions have to keep tabs on him.

Brenton Cox, Edge, Florida

Defense has to be on the menu for the Lions, and they are in need of impact players everywhere on the field. Brenton Cox could be one of those players if he has shown he has matured.

Cox has all the talent in the world, which is amplified by the fact that he has put up 138 tackles, 34.5 tackles for-loss, 14.5 sacks, 10 passes defended and one forced fumble during his college career.

Unfortunately, personal problems have derailed him constantly at every single stop.

Cox was removed from the University of Georgia due to marijuana use in 2019 and struggles with the coaching staff. After transferring and starring at Florida, Cox was then dismissed from the program in 2022 after throwing a punch against his former team.

Detroit is building a strong locker room culture, and has a strong boss in Dan Campbell. If the team felt they could handle Cox and took a chance on him, he could be a down the board option for the Lions that could pay off in a big way if he had matured.

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