Detroit Lions: 5 Undersized Linebackers to Consider in 2016 NFL Draft

Photograph: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Photograph: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Photograph: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Photograph: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

Beniquez Brown (or Ejiro Ederaine)

Depending on how many pressing needs the Lions can fill via free agency, they may not have the luxury of spending an early draft pick on a linebacker. They might end up looking for one in the middle or later rounds of the draft. If they’re looking for a quality player in the middle rounds, Mississippi State linebacker Beniquez Brown could fit the bill.

Brown ran a decent 4.77 second 40-yard dash at the combine, while weighing in at 229 lbs. and measuring 6’1″. Brown also plays faster than he times. This past season he was one of the leaders of the Mississippi State defense, while he compiled 93 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and four sacks. He also showed playmaking value in the passing game, gathering three career interceptions.

The Lions met with Brown at the combine, so it’s possible they have some interest in selecting him in the middle rounds of the draft.

If Detroit chooses to wait until the later rounds to draft a linebacker, they should take a close look at Fresno State’s Ejiro Ederaine. Like Feeney, Ederaine is more underweight than undersized. He is listed at 6’3″ and anywhere from 220 – 230 lbs.

Whatever his exact measurements are, one thing is certain: Ederaine flies all over the field. This past season he had an impressive 98 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and two interceptions. Ederaine displays the speed and athleticism to help a defense from multiple positions and in various situations.

The fact that he also has flown under the radar this offseason – he wasn’t even invited to the combine – could work in Detroit’s favor when the draft comes around.

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