The Detroit Lions pulled off another second round surprise draft pick as they selected University of Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai at #43 overall.
Measured at 6′ 4″, 245 pounds, Tavai’s senior season last year was limited due to a shoulder injury and was projected to be taken in the fourth and fifth round. He also scored a 4.14 in his Relative Athletic Score (RAS), by Twitter’s Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb).
However, on his senior highlights video on YouTube, he was viewed as a good run stopper and an average coverage player in the inside linebacker position.
Even though a few Lions fans were either confused or not pleased about the pick, one Lions fan was excited about the Lions landing Tavai.
Here’s a name rarely seen on draft Twitter that you’ll mostly likely hear on Day 2…@HawaiiFootball LB Jahlani Tavai. He was a favorite of the @seniorbowl before a shoulder injury kept him from participating. Many NFL teams are secretly hoping Tavai falls to them in 3rd round. pic.twitter.com/EtI1QJU6Ip— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 9, 2019
The tweet above was posted back in April 9th. Below is Salts’ response after Tavai was selected.
I TOLD YALL MF JAHLANI TAVAI WAS COMINGG TO DETROIT!!!!— Chris 😼 (@ChrisSalts) April 27, 2019
Tavai’s playing style and size is compared to Minnesota Vikings inside linebacker Eric Kendricks, who’s smaller at 6′ 0″, but can cover and stop the run.
Taken eighth overall yesterday was tight end T.J. Hockenson out of University of Iowa. The Lions have seven more draft picks to choose from, pending if they trade or not. The draft will last through Saturday afternoon.