- 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 linebackers. This is a somewhat high position of need for Detroit, mostly for depth purposes as it would be tough to replace either DeAndre Levy or Stephen Tulloch as a starter. It is possible the team could look for someone to take Ashlee Palmer's place, but this could be a mid-round selection.
Also changing the format of this a little bit since the all-star games have concluded.
Previous looks: Quarterbacks; Running backs; Wide receivers; tight ends; Offensive tackles; Interior linemen; Defensive ends; Defensive tackles
Lamin Barrow (6-foot-1 1/4, 229, LSU) Led LSU with 91 tackles and also had 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks. Had 230 tackles in his career. Participated in the Senior Bowl. No. 9 outside linebacker.
Dion Bailey (6-0, 210, USC) Played nickel at USC last season, but has also been a linebacker. Left college with a year remaining. Had 61 tackles and five interceptions last season. No. 13 outside linebacker.
Jonathan Brown (6-0 1/2, 224, Illinois) Led the Illini with 119 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and five sacks. Also had four pass breakups. No. 16 outside linebacker.
Denicos Allen (5-10 1/2, 225, Michigan State) Led the Spartans with 98 tackles and had 16.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Also had 10 quarterback hurries and 15 quarterback hits. No. 21 outside linebacker.
Max Bullough (6-2 7/8, 265, Michigan State) Made 76 tackles and had 9.5 tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hurries. Was suspended for a violation of team rules for the Rose Bowl. No. 4 inside linebacker.
Yawin Smallwood (6-2 1/8, 235, Connecticut) Made 118 tackles, had 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Declared for the NFL draft with one season of eligibility remaining. No. 5 inside linebacker.
Dede Lattimore (5-11 3/4, 237, South Florida) Started all but one game in his college career. Had 98 tackles this past season, including 5.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and two sacks. No. 11 inside linebacker.
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.