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Lions trade up, draft offensive lineman Giovanni Manu

The Detroit Lions didn't have to wait until the fifth round to make a selection Saturday.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes traded a 2025 third-round pick to move into the fourth round to select University of British Columbia offensive lineman Giovanni Manu.

Manu is a massive tackle at 6-foot-7, 352 pounds. He wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but reportedly had 11 pre-draft visits with teams, including Detroit.

"My Top 30 visit was amazing," Manu said via Zoom after the pick. "One thing that made me really appreciative and made me know the Lions were all in was that they decided to do the visit on Sunday.

"I remember my agent called me and told me that's something teams rarely want to do for prospects. So, he told me them [being] willing to do this on a Sunday on a day off to host me says a lot. I was truly appreciative of it."

Manu performed pretty well at his Pro Day, where he ran the 40 in 4.96 seconds, had a 8.29-second three-cone, and 4.81-second short shuttle. He also recorded 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, 33.5 inches in the vertical jump, and 107 inches in the broad jump. His 40 time and vertical would have been in the 90th percentile at the Combine.

He played both guard and tackle at UBC and was credited with allowing five quarterback pressures and two sacks last season. He's a big, mauling lineman with terrific athletic traits who the Lions see a lot of potential in.

"In college I predominately played left tackle, I only played one season of left guard, but when I took my visit to Detroit, they asked me where I preferred to play and I just told them I'll play anywhere," Manu said.

"I'll play any position that puts me on the field the quickest. I play a position that contributes to the team winning. Either that's the right side, which is a side that obviously will be awkward at first, but something I believe I can accomplish with repetition. I'm willing to do those small things to do whatever it is to bring Detroit more wins and hopefully a Super Bowl championship."

The Lions just re-signed right tackle Penei Sewell to a massive four-year extension, but starting left tackle Taylor Decker is entering the final year of a contract extension he signed in 2020.

Manu grew up in Tongo in the South Pacific and has looked up to Sewell for years, saying his island is about a 45-minute flight from where Sewell grew up in the South Pacific. He's studied a lot of his film and has followed his journey to becoming arguably the best tackle in football.

"When I was in college I watched (Sewell's) draft day process. It was basically a blog of his whole day being drafted and I remember he ended the blog by saying, 'Any Polynesian kids out there and he named all the islands and I remember he said Tonga and said If you kids out there want to make it to the NFL you can truly make it if you put your mind to it.'

"I remember I was in my second year of college when he said that and I remember him saying that and it really motivated me and I told myself, 'If one of my fellow Polynesian brothers can make it, and he's giving me words of motivation, there's no reason why I can't do it either.' He's a true inspiration."

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