Charles Davis: Michigan State's Tony Lippett should consider CB

As with everything quarterbacks do, the decisions by Michigan's Devin Gardner and Auburn's Nick Marshall to change positions as they head into the NFL have drawn a ton of attention.



Gardner's first work at wide receiver as he prepares for the NFL draft came at last week's East-West Shrine Game; he played a half-season at receiver for Michigan in 2012. Marshall is moving to cornerback at this week's Reese's Senior Bowl, a position he played as a true freshman at Georgia in 2011.

Neither was seen as an NFL quarterback and each has the athleticism to make the position transition. The case of Michigan State's Tony Lippett is more interesting, though.

Lippett (6-foot-2 1/2, 192 pounds) was a first-team All-Big Ten wide receiver this season, when he had 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 11 TDs, and he is seen as a mid-round pick at the position.

But Lippett was a star corner in high school and started five games at corner as a redshirt freshman with the Spartans in 2011. He also played wide receiver that season and moved full-time to offense in 2012. He did play some corner this season, though, including two starts.

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said Wednesday during NFL Network's Senior Bowl coverage that he wouldn't mind seeing Lippett at corner this week. Given the strength of the wide receiver draft class and the relative weakness of the cornerback class for this draft, "he could distinguish himself very quickly" at cornerback this week, especially with his size.

Other position changes will be more subtle, with numerous "small" defensive ends moving to outside linebacker (such as Utah's Nate Orchard and perhaps Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha) and a handful of offensive tackles moving to guard or center. Among them are Arizona State's Jamil Douglas and Hobart's Ali Marpet; and cornerbacks possibly moving to safety (USC's Josh Shaw, Utah's Eric Rowe and Miami of Ohio's Quinten Rollins among them). In addition, Colorado State left tackle Ty Sambrailo and LSU left tackle La'el Collins might be better off at guard and right tackle, respectively.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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