The Detroit Lions and head coach Matt Patricia are coaching the North Team for Senior Bowl week starting Monday in Mobile, Ala.
The benefit to coaching the Senior Bowl is getting to spend valuable time with the players, not just on the practice field, but also in the meeting rooms. Both the on-field workouts and classroom sessions are valuable resources for the Lions' coaching staff and front-office personnel in the pre-draft process.
Now that Patricia and his staff know who they'll be coaching, let's take a look at 10 players on the North Team to keep an eye on during the week in Mobile:
1. Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan
Was named the best pass-blocking guard in the country by Pro Football Focus after not allowing a hit or sack in 451 pass-blocking reps. A three-year starter with 45 starts at left guard. The Lions could be on a lookout to bolster the guard position, depending on what happens in free agency with starter Graham Glasgow.
2. Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah
Anae (6-3, 265) led the Utes in sacks in three seasons while at Utah. He's coming off a 13.5-sack 2019 campaign that also saw him record 14.0 tackles for loss, force a fumble and 41 tackles. The Lions need all the help they can get finding players who can consistently pressure the quarterback. The one-on-one pass-rush drills each day against the offensive linemen are huge all week for pass rushers like Anae.
3. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
A big receiver (6-4, 220) who was the go-to man in the Trojans passing game this past season. Pittman caught 101 passes for 1,275 yards (12.6 average) and 11 touchdowns. The Lions could certainly be on the lookout for a receiver with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. entering the final year of their contracts, and Danny Amendola headed to free agency.
4. Josh Jones, T, Houston
Considered by some analysts to be the best senior tackle in the draft, the Lions will get an up-close look at this mountain of a man (6-7, 310). He has 51 career starts at left tackle and could be one of top five tackles taken in the draft.
5. Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
Baun (6-3, 235) has the kind of size the Lions like in their linebacking corps. He wreaked havoc on opposing offenses in 2019, notching 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss to go along with 75 total tackles. That kind of production jumps out. Can he add to his resume with an impressive week in Mobile?
6. Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Gallimore is a disruptive, penetrating interior defender. He's recorded 7.0 sacks from the interior the last two seasons for the Sooners with 79 total tackles. If he can show off his quickness in pass-rush drills and team periods this week, he might catch some attention. The Lions have four defensive tackles set to hit free agency, including A'Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels.
7. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Love has a nice frame (6-4, 225) and big arm. A good week in Mobile will go a long way in determining where he fits among this year's draft class at quarterback. Love had back-to-back 3,000-yard seasons. He threw for 3,567 yards with 32 touchdowns and just six interceptions as a sophomore. He followed that up as a junior this past season throwing for 3,402 yards with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The interceptions were high, and something teams will be looking closely at this week.
8. Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa
He's got the frame (6-1, 200) NFL personnel evaluators love. He had back-to-back three-interception seasons for the Hawkeyes. He also showed in 2019 he isn't afraid to step up and make a tackle in run support, finishing with 52 tackles in 12 games. Cornerback could be a significant need for the Lions depending on the future of Pro Bowler Darius Slay, who is entering the final year of his contract in 2020 and has expressed interest in wanting a new deal.
9. Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M
The 2018 Ray Guy Award winner might just be the best punter available in this draft. Lions punter Sam Martin will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Mann averaged 51.0 yards per punt in 2018 and 47.1 yards this past season. He never averaged under 47.0 yards per punt in any season during his college career.
10. Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Davis (6-1, 200) played in 48 of 49 games over the last three-plus seasons with 33 starts. Has career defensive totals of 171 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions (one returned for TD), 12 pass breakups, 19 passes defended, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.