Detroit Lions fourth-round pick Da’Shawn Hand didn’t rock the league in his rookie year. With just 27 tackles, 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles, Hand didn’t really move the needle in terms of national attention.
However, by non-traditional statistics, Hand was a beast. In just a rotational role with the team, Hand produced 25 quarterback pressure and 18 defensive stops. As a result, his Pro Football Focus grade was an outstanding 87.3, much higher than any other rookie interior defender, and good for 13th among all defensive tackles.
But it was his pass rush that really stood out among the rest. With a 79.5 pass rush grade (fifth among all DTs), Hand made PFF history:
Rookie DI Da’Shawn Hand (@TheHand54) earned a pass rush grade of 79.5 in 2018. That’s the highest grade by a rookie DI since PFF began in 2006 (min 250 snaps).......Yes that’s including Aaron Donald’s monstrous rookie year #OnePride— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) February 5, 2019
Now, no one here is claiming that Da’Shawn Hand is a better pass rusher than Aaron Donald or even that he had a better rookie year. Just look at Donald’s stats back in 2014: 47 tackles, 9.0 sacks, two forced fumbles. Donald was able to produce consistent pressure his rookie season, and did it as a starter.
But this is still obviously a very promising start for the Lions’ young defensive tackle. As his role only increases, let’s hope Hand can get even a fraction of the production Donald has had since his rookie year.
- The Lions came in at 20th in NFL.com’s post-2018 season power rankings. Too low? Too high?
- Sandman created a highlight reel from Kerryon Johnson’s rookie season. You may want to be alone when you watch this:
- Hall of Famer Rod Woodson believes Darius Slay is a top-five cornerback in the NFL right now. See what else the former Raiders defensive back had to say about Slay here.
- Kerryon Johnson seems a little excited to have another Auburn Tiger in the house, after the Lions announced they signed linebacker Tre’ Williams earlier on Wednesday:
- Barry Sanders, who went through his own issues with the franchise, is optimistic that Calvin Johnson will, one day, smooth things over with the Lions.
- Assuming the Lions don’t get Golden Tate back, they’re going to have to replace a lot of production from their 2018 offensive skill players:
It’ll be an interesting offseason to see how the #Lions approach the offensive side of the ball. Proven young talent at RB with Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) and WR with Golladay (@kgxix). They’ll be losing 44.1 percent of their opportunities from last season (4th most in NFL) as of now https://t.co/XpZfNkRsKT— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) February 6, 2019