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2024 Detroit Lions rookie minicamp

2024 Detroit Lions rookie minicamp

3. Manu’s size and athleticism

There are not many humans roaming the planet that measure in at 6-foot-8 and weigh 354 pounds. Add in the fact that fourth-round pick Giovanni Manu can run the 40-yard dash in under 5.0 seconds and jump over 33 inches in the vertical at that size, and the number of people with all those traits can probably be counted on one hand.

Manu was one of the most athletic players in the entire draft, but he comes from the University of British Columbia and he’s about to experience a huge jump in competition level this weekend and then another jump in a couple weeks when he joins the likes of Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker in the offensive line room and squares off against players like Aidan Hutchinson, Marcus Davenport, James Houston and others.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the size and athleticism translates to this level and how quickly it will take him to adjust to the increased competition level.

When Holmes first started studying LSU defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo, he thought he was watching an interior-exclusive player along the defensive line.

“I originally was just looking at him as purely just a defensive tackle that was just going to be playing inside,” Holmes said. ” I was like, ‘Man, I’m not sure.’ But when I kept watching him, his rush ability really started to come to light.

“I kind of put him in a different box – a little bit like when we talked about (Josh) Paschal when Paschal came out. It’s like, ‘OK, can he play on the edge on first and second down, and can he do some inside rush?’ Wingo, he’s got a lot of good stuff on tape as an edge rusher actually, surprisingly.”

One of the things that jumps out when watching Wingo is his ability to shoot a gap and be disruptive in the pass game. At 6-foot, 284 pounds, he is a bit undersized, but he makes up for that with a compact and powerful frame with first-step quickness, strong hands and a high football IQ.

His true evaluation will come when the pads come on and the hitting starts upfront in training camp, but one thing we’ll be able to glean Friday is the quickness and football speed and how that might translate to a versatile role upfront along Detroit’s defensive line.

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