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2018 NFL Draft: Quick thoughts on Lions’ selection of Da’Shawn Hand

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Detroit made another trade to move up in the draft and get a player at a position of need.

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Kentucky v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions went into Day 3 with just two picks, but after trading a future third-round pick for the Patriots’ 114th pick, they added another one and got their defensive lineman that they desperately needed in Da’Shawn Hand out of Alabama.

This move is very reminiscent of the move that former general manager, Martin Mayhew, made when trading a future third for a fourth-round pick to acquire Gabe Wright with the 113th pick in the 2015 draft. That one didn’t work out so well for the Lions. However, every situation is different and I’m a big fan of this move, personally.

Hand is very athletic and a sizable defensive lineman that can play all over the line. He was Pro Football Focus’ 16th-ranked interior defender via their draft guide and was projected to go in the second or third round according to NFL.com’s draft tracker. Here is what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had to say about Hand:

In 2014, Hand was considered the top-rated recruit in the nation but failed to find the production and accolades that were expected of him. While he possesses NFL size and ability, he hasn’t always played with the fire or urgency we have come to expect from Alabama defenders. Hand is a versatile defender who could be targeted as a base end who reduces inside on passing downs. He’ll likely be drafted on Day 2 based on the traits, but he’s hardly a lock to match the production to the talent as a pro.

Detroit’s new defensive line coach, Bo Davis, was at Alabama during Da’Shawn Hand’s freshman and sophomore seasons, and current Lions defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson’s time at Alabama overlapped with Hand’s freshman season. In his 2017 season, a knee injury limited Hand to playing in just nine games of 11 games, finishing the season with 27 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, and 3.0 sacks.