- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
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The all-star games are over. The combine, which is the next area for potential draftees to prove anything, is less than a month away.
Many of the players selected in May’s draft will come from these three all-star games or from underclassmen who decided the time was right to turn professional. Over the next two weeks, pairing with our position outlook series, we’ll take a quick preview look and look back at some names to become familiar with over the next four months as the NFL draft process crawls along.
Today continues with defensive tackles. Much like the ends, this is not going to be a high position of need for Detroit, but once the middle rounds hit, it could be a place the Lions choose to spend a draft pick -- especially if they can’t reach an extension with Ndamukong Suh or choose to not pick up the fifth-year option on Nick Fairley.
Lawrence Virgil (6-3 5/8, 290, Valdosta State). Had 48 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. No. 27 defensive tackle.
Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (6-2 3/8, 309, Boise State) From the Netherlands -- Amsterdam to be specific. Fairly raw at his position compared to other defensive tackles. Made 52 tackles with four tackles for loss, a sack and four passes defended this season. No. 28 defensive tackle.
Bruce Gaston Jr. (6-2 1/8, 316, Purdue) Had 48 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three sacks last season. His size fits into what Caldwell has historically had as defensive tackles on his team, though. No. 14 defensive tackle
Jay Bromley (6-3 1/4, 307, Syracuse) Had 38 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks last season. Also three forced fumbles. No. 18 defensive tackle.
Beau Allen (6-2 1/2, 333, Wisconsin) Had 20 tackles, two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks last season. No. 20 defensive tackle.
Aaron Donald (6-0 7/8, 288, Pittsburgh) Lombardi, Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik Trophy winners. First-team All-American. Had 59 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles last season. Stats his final year of college compared well to Ndamukong Suh. No. 4 defensive tackle.
Will Sutton (6-0 3/4, 315, Arizona State) Had 48 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks last season. No. 7 defensive tackle.
Shamar Stephen (6-4 5/8, 308, Connecticut) Made 60 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks last season. No. 11 defensive tackle.
Caraun Reid (6-2 1/8, 301, Princeton) Had 26 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks this season, along with an interception. Interesting fact from his Princeton bio -- his father is a bishop and his mother is a minister. No. 12 defensive tackle.
Deandre Coleman (6-5, 315, California) Made 40 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks last season. No. 15 defensive tackle.
Others not in major all-star games:
Kelcy Quarles (6-4, 298, South Carolina). Entering the draft as a junior. Played alongside current Lion Devin Taylor at South Carolina. Had 39 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 9.5 sacks last season. No. 8 defensive tackle.
George Uko (6-3, 275, USC) Entering the draft as a junior. Had 36 tackles, seven tackles for loss and five sacks last season. No. 16 defensive tackle.
The all-star games are over. The combine, which is the next area for potential draftees to prove anything, is less than a month away.Many of the players selected in May’s draft will come from these three all-star games or from underclassmen who decided the time was right to turn professional.