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Who is Giovanni Manu? Lions select University of British Columbia OT in Round 4 of 2024 NFL Draft | Sporting News



The Lions have one of the best starting offensive lines in the NFL, but they were expected to add depth to it during the 2024 NFL Draft.

They did that by making a surprise pick in the fourth round of the draft, selecting Giovanni Manu early on the third day of the draft’s festivities.

Manu wasn’t a well-known draft prospect — and with a good reason. He played his college football in Canada and wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. That kept him off the radar of even the biggest NFL junkies.

Who exactly is Giovanni Manu? Here’s what to know about the Lions’ fourth-round pick who makes it three consecutive drafts with a player selected from Canada’s top division of college football.

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Who is Giovanni Manu?

Manu is a 6-8, 350-pound offensive tackle prospect who was drafted by the Lions with the 126th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Manu grew up in Tonga before moving to Canada at age 10. He played college football at the University of British Columbia and helped lead the Thunderbirds to a Hardy Cup victory over the Alberta Golden Bears.

Sixteen NFL teams attended Manu’s pro day after he drew attention for his size and agility, per CTV News Vancouver. He clocked a 5.03-second 40-yard dash during that workout and recorded 23 bench press reps of 225 pounds.

The Lions liked what they saw enough to select Manu in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Now, the big-bodied tackle will look to develop into a worthwhile NFL player as Detroit looks to win its first Super Bowl title.

Manu is already embracing the challenge of becoming a contributor for the Super Bowl hopeful.

“I’m ready for it,” Manu told CTV when asked about competing for the Lombardi Trophy. “If that happens to come my way in my first year, I’ll attack it the same way I approached the Canada West championship here, I’ll be well-prepared for it and it will be really exciting.”

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U Sports football players drafted into the NFL

U Sports football is the highest level of Canadian college football, and 27 schools participate under the governing body’s ordinance.

Manu becomes the 15th U Sports football player drafted into the NFL. There has now been a player selected from U Sports football in three consecutive NFL Drafts, as seen below.

Year Round Pick NFL team Player Position School
1976 8 234 Commanders Brian Fryer WR Alberta Golden Bears
1979 11 280 Colts John Priestner LB Western Mustangs
1982 12 333 Bengals Dan Feraday QB Toronto Varsity Blues
1986 1 23 Rams Mike Schad OG Queen’s Golden Gaels
1992 9 239 Cardinals Tyrone Williams WR Western Mustangs
1995 7 237 Chargers Mark Montreuil CB Concordia Stingers
1998 2 32 Colts Jerome Pathon WR Acadia Axemen
2001 7 241 Jaguars Randy Chevrier DE McGill Redmen[a]
2009 4 113 Chargers Vaughn Martin DE Western Mustangs
2012 3 89 Saints Akiem Hicks DE Regina Rams
2014 6 200 Chiefs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif OT McGill Redmen[a]
2016 4 120 Saints David Onyemata DL Manitoba Bisons
2022 7 236 Chargers Deane Leonard CB Calgary Dinos
2023 4 124 Ravens Tavius Robinson LB Guelph Gryphons

Many of Manu’s predecessors, including Akiem Hicks, David Onyemata, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff found ways to become impact players in the NFL. Dan Campbell will look to ensure that Manu joins them as a legit contributor once the 6-8 tackle adapts to the NFL game.

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