The Detroit Lions need to consider drafting Jalen Tolbert with the no. 66 overall pick.
This is where I’d love to put Christian Watson, but let’s face it, after a spectacular showing at the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-5 dynamic playmaker is no longer a sleeper. The North Dakota State product may have elevated himself to become a first-round selection, and if he happens to fall to the no. 32 or no. 34, the Detroit Lions need to jump on the opportunity to draft him.
Similar to Justyn Ross, Jalen Tolbert is often compared to former Detroit Lions receiver and fan-favorite Marvin Jones.
Tolbert is a former three-sport athlete that excelled as the top receiver for South Alabama. The star receiver collected 146 receptions totaling 2,559 yards and 16 touchdowns over the last two seasons. The knock-on some of these prospects coming from lower-level conferences, in this case, the Sun Belt, is they are unable to show what they can do against SEC, BIG Ten-like competition.
We can put that notion to bed when it comes to Tolbert, who absolutely torched Tennessee for 143 yards and a score this past season. In 2021, Tolbert amassed 140 yards receiving six times and proved time and time again his big-play potential.
Tolbert measured at 6-foot-1, playing at 194 pounds. He ran a 4.49, which is impressive, proving he has the speed needed to do downfield damage at the next level. Tolbert is still a bit of a project when it comes to his route tree but has the makings of a WR2 and possibly a no. 1 option at the NFL level.
"Tolbert is an effective route-runner but still needs to become more detailed in this area. On deep in-breaking routes, Tolbert is inconsistent in dropping his weight and exploding out of breaks—oftentimes having to slightly round off routes at the top. Tolbert can also improve on selling his double moves such as post-corner and corner-post routes to move the defender off their leverage so the route can be effective. Although there are some deficiencies in his route-running, Tolbert is good at running all underneath routes and seems to have an in-depth understanding of how to get open."
Tolbert has shown the ability to align in different areas on offense, whether outside, left, or right, along with working as a ‘big slot,’ but I feel he’s best suited as a boundary pass-catcher at the NFL level.
Tolbert is someone the Detroit Lions need to strongly consider with the no. 66 overall pick if he’s available.