It’s not often that a defensive tackle wins the Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROY) award, but it certainly isn’t unheard of. Aaron Donald did it a few years ago, and Ndamukong Suh did it back in 2010. Prior to those two, however, it hadn’t happened since 1994.
Detroit Lions fourth-round rookie Da’Shawn Hand isn’t having the type of season Donald or Suh did in their rookie years. Suh had 10.0 sacks his rookie year, while Donald was right behind him with 9.0 in 2014.
Hand, on the other... hand, isn’t putting up any eye-popping stats. He has just 19 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and two forces fumbles. Those are still some impressive numbers, but hardly the kind that will draw national attention worthy of winning an award like DROY.
However, when compared to the rest of the rookie class, Hand deserves to be part of the conversation. Just take a look at the top rookies accoridng to Pro Football Focus’ grades:
Hand is just barely behind Derwin James and Leighton Vander Esch, and is the highest-graded rookie defensive lineman in the league. Unfortunately for Hand, he doesn’t have a realistic shot at winning the award for the time being. James (3.5 sacks, 1 INT) and Vander Esch (51 tackles!!) have the traditional stats that will earn them votes at the end of the year. Still, if Hand continues to play this well, it means much more for the Lions than any postseason honors.
- Lions tight end Michael Roberts has missed every game since the Lions’ Week 2 loss to the 49ers. It looks like he’s itching to get back:
- Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire thinks the Lions need to make a play for Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley if the young defensive back is truly on the market.
- Golden Tate played under former Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who passed away on Monday after his battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Tate offered his condolences via Twitter late Monday night:
Lions owner Martha Ford offered this statement on the passing of Paul Allen:
- We’ve talked plenty about the Lions’ struggles to defend the run but they certainly need to improve against the pass, too:
Defending the pass is more important than it's ever been in the #NFL- here are the top defenses this year at doing that.#RavensFlock #Browns #Seahawks #DUUUVAL #FinsUp #Jets #DaBears #TitanUp #GoBucs #GoSaints #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/H0kQ2o6CKy— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) October 16, 2018