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Lions 2024 Draft prospect of the day: Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

The Lions Draft Prospect of the Day moves into the defensive interior to kick off the week before the NFL Scouting Combine.

The focus is on players who should hold some appeal to the Lions in the draft, with a focus on the more likely positions the team will be targeting. If you’re looking for quarterbacks or upper-echelon running backs, you’re probably not going to find those here. Outside cornerbacks, defensive linemen, interior offensive linemen, maybe some wide receivers and offensive tackles figure to appear along the path to April’s draft. Not all of the players will be top-100 prospects, either.

Today’s prospect is a powerful interior rusher with a lot to offer the Lions on Day 2.

Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

Height: 6-foot-3 1/2

Weight: 295 (measured at Senior Bowl)

Fiske played his final college season at Florida State after playing five seasons at Western Michigan. He handled the jump up in competition quite nicely, racking up six sacks and nine TFLs for the unbeaten Seminoles. That followed his final year at WMU where he produced six sacks, 12 TFLs and four batted passes for the Broncos.

He started a total of 43 games in college, playing almost exclusively between the 1T and 3T, with the exception of a handful of games playing more DE at the start of his final year at Western Michigan.

What I like

  • Consistently explosive off the snap

  • Relentless motor and energy

  • Has a great shock punch/shove that creates space for himself, and Fiske’s quick, long stride to follow it prevents interior OL from recovering with any power

  • Quick feet allow him to reset his base and get into countermoves faster than a lot of guys his size

  • Excellent pad level and leverage that comes naturally with a low center of gravity and strong lower-body strength

  • Very adept at loops, twists and stunts as the facilitator and he appreciates doing the dirty work to help guys like Jared Verse and Marshawn Kneeland get the glory

  • Very good, innate nose for the ball in the run game

  • Feels zone blocks well and pretty consistently gets his shoulder and often his hip to the point of attack ahead of the block

  • Disruptive in the quick passing game with smart reads and quick hands to get into the throwing lanes

  • Good balance and power as a tackler

What worries me going into the NFL

  • Fiske lacks length with his compact frame and has really short arms; his 31-inch arm length for being over 6-foot-3 is quite short

  • While the short-area quickness and immediate burst are impressive, he doesn’t sustain the quickness or speed beyond about two steps

  • Didn’t instigate many plays outside the tackle box in the run despite a relentless pursuit motor

  • Anchor strength against the run doesn’t always sustain beyond the initial contact

  • Not a DT who will keep his LBs clean in the run game all that well

  • Will be a 24-year-old rookie and appears to have maxed out his physical development already

  • Plays tall when in pursuit and looks stiff and relatively limited

Best game I watched: Louisville, his final college game

Worst game I watched: Ohio 2022 (while Fiske was at Western Michigan, a game I attended in person)

Overall

Fiske proved during his final season at Florida State that he was upwardly mobile in terms of draft stock. He backed that up with a very good Senior Bowl week. He’s a powerful, initially explosive athlete with a good football IQ and a nonstop motor. Fiske is a naturally disruptive interior rusher who can also work well in concert with his linemates.

To get more of a feel of Fiske as a person, check out our interview from the Senior Bowl. He definitely comes across as a “Grit” guy.

For the Lions, Fiske makes sense as a Day 2 prospect who could play right away in passing situations and in lighter base formations. Based on current projections coming out of Senior Bowl week, it doesn’t seem like Fiske will last beyond Detroit’s second-round pick.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire