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Lions draft prospect of the day: Javon Bullard, DB, Georgia

Today’s Lions Draft Prospect of the Day is an under-the-radar key cog of Georgia’s defensive dominance over the last few years. 

The focus for these potential Lions prospects is on players who should hold some appeal for Detroit in the draft. Not all of them will be prominent names or high draft picks, and today’s prospect is just itching for a Day 2 pick after he has been hiding in plain sight in a prominent program. 

Javon Bullard, DB, Georgia

Height: 5-foot-10.5 inches

Weight: 198 pounds (measured at NFL Scouting Combine)

A two-year starter and three-year contributor to Georgia’s top-shelf defense, Bullard started out as a three-star recruit who primarily played slot CB. As his Georgia career progressed, Bullard moved more to a split-safety role and typically played over the side where the offense aligned its slot. He bagged 112 tackles, four INTs, 8.5 TFLs, eight PDs and 4.5 sacks in his final two seasons, which includes two games missed in 2023 with an ankle injury.

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Bullard met with the Lions at the Senior Bowl. He turns 22 just before Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season.

What I like

  • Very high football IQ comes across instantly on game tape

  • Zero wasted motion in coverage

  • Good open-field tackler who can hit with some pop for his size

  • Exceptional timing on attacking behind the line of scrimmage

  • Smartly anticipates route concepts and throwing angles

  • Impressive ball skills with a go-get-it mentality

  • Considerable experience playing multiple secondary spots in a pro-style defense

  • Very seldom runs himself out of position in run defense or zone coverage

  • Best QB-baiting safety in the draft class with excellent eye discipline and spatial awareness

What worries me going into the NFL

  • Slighter and lighter than ideal for playing safety

  • Top speed is average and Bullard doesn’t have a true top-end chase gear

  • Short-steps for too long when pursuing in the open field; sounds odd but it’s quite noticeable when watching Bullard

  • A little tight-hipped to handle quickness in the slot in the NFL

  • Vulnerable to the stiff arm as a tackler

  • Struggles to get off blocks and will get moved off the point by better TEs

Best game I watched: Alabama in SEC Championship

Worst game I watched: Ohio State in ’22 CFP

Overall

Bullard is a coverage-oriented safety with outstanding instincts and reactions that are proven against some high-level collegiate passing attacks. Much like Lions 2023 second-rounder Brian Branch, Bullard can play as a slot corner, a free safety or a box safety, depending on the matchups. He’s not as big or quite as fluid as Branch, but performs with a similar heady, tough-nosed and playmaking style. Bullard would make a very smart fit for the Lions in the second round.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire