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Canadian OT Giovanni Manu Drafted 126th Overall By the Detroit Lions Out of UBC

The Detroit Lions have drafted versatile offensive lineman Giovanni Manu in the 4th round 126th overall. Manu was the 8th highest-ranked prospect by CFL Central Scouting’s final rankings for players eligible for the CFL Draft. Manu is the first player selected in the NFL Draft out of U Sports since 2016.

The Lions hosted Manu earlier in the month on a pre-draft visit and liked what they saw enough to trade in order to select him. They traded their third-round pick in next year’s draft to the New York Jets in exchange for the 126th pick in the draft meaning that the Lions see Manu as a player having more value than a late third-round pick.

Manu started in 38 games for the UBC Thunderbirds over his U Sports career. He started every game in 2022 and was named Second-Team All-Canadian at left guard. In 2023 he was named Second-Team All-Canadian as a tackle.

He impressed scouts at UBC Pro Day which drew a lot of attention from NFL teams who came to also see his teammate offensive tackle Theo Benedet. Manu ran a 5.03-second 40-yard dash, an 8.29-second three-cone drill, and a 4.81-second short shuttle. He also performed 23 reps on the bench, a 33.5-inch vertical, and an 8’11” broad jump.

Manu measures in at 6’7, 352 pounds, and is 23 years old. He is a prospect with great mobility for his size who is used to playing on much larger fields having played north of the border. UBC’s quarterback at times had tendencies to leave the pocket despite not being pressured as an accurate thrower while moving making use of the wide Canadian field. Both tackles for UBC did a good job recognizing when this happened to quickly make adjustments accordingly.

UBC’s strong play from their offensive tackles was a big reason quarterback Garrett Rooker was able to lead the Canada West conference in passing yards with 283 passing yards per game. Additionally, runningback Isaiah Knight was second in the conference in yards per game with 112.

It is not the first time this offseason the Detroit Lions have looked to British Columbia to acquire talent this offseason. The Lions signed defensive end Mathieu Betts in February who played last year for the BC Lions in the CFL.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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