The Detroit Lions had a relatively quiet Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft after making some noise on Thursday. After making the aggressive move to trade up 20 spots for Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams on Day 1, the Lions stayed put with both of their Day 2 picks on Friday night.
Their selections opened up with Kentucky edge defender Josh Paschal. He was a bit of a surprising pick on a couple levels. For one, the Lions double-dipped on the edge position when there were more pressing needs on the table. Additionally, many had a Round 3 or later grade on Paschal—although a few outlets found this pick to be right around where he was projected.
The final pick of the day was a little easier to comprehend. Not only did Illinois safety Kerby Joseph fill one of the team’s most pressing needs, but he was good value at that draft spot and a player the Lions did a lot of research on.
The national opinion of these picks fit right along these lines. There was a fair amount of questioning with the Paschal selection, while most gave the Joseph pick high marks.
Here’s what they’re all saying about the Detroit Lions’ Day 2 picks.
Pick 46 — Kentucky edge defender Josh Paschal
The Kentucky Wildcat was quietly one of the highest-graded edge defenders in the country this past season with a 90.0 overall mark. Paschal is a strong, explosive player who can play on the interior and the edge. He may be a tad stiff and can get out of control from time to time, but this is good value for an all-around solid player.
Hair-on-fire rusher with low-center-of-gravity power. Hand work is decent. On the ground a bit more than you’d like. Reasonable bend but not a speciality. Three-down rusher, which addresses a need in Detroit. Even to double up at the position.
Paschal is stout at the point of attack with his strength and violent hands. He’s more impactful as a run defender, but there is potential for him to develop more as a pass rusher for the Lions. While I like the player, this is earlier than I would have taken him, as he’s my 79th-ranked prospect.
The Lions make a questionable pick of a Day 3 prospect but at least he makes sense to support No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson in upgrading the edge. Paschal is a reliable rock of a pass rusher with some sturdiness against the run who could work to be more explosive.
Aidan Hutchinson has a new running mate on the edge in Detroit, as the Lions add yet another dynamic pass rusher to their defensive front. Paschal is an explosive, physical edge defender who should give the Lions a dominant duo for years to come.
Pick 97 — Illinois safety Kerby Joseph
Joseph is still very much learning the safety position, but he has uncoachable ball skills and length. He’s also such an easy mover and should get looks at split-field safety and in the box in Detroit. He just needs more experience at the position to really develop into a legitimate starter in the league.
One of the longest, rangiest-in-coverage safeties in this class. Hip-fluidity pops on film. Can really run. He’ll be a playmaker in Detroit but has to trust his eyes and play with better reactionary skill.
Safety was one of Detroit’s bigger needs, and it addresses it with Joseph here. The former Illinois safety has excellent range and length and had five interceptions in his breakout 2021 season.
The Lions needed some safety and nickel depth, but Joseph doesn’t offer much vs. the run with his strength lying in making plays in coverage.
A fantastic blend of need and value for the Lions, who land a safety with the experience and traits to be a Day 1 starter. Joseph is a well-rounded prospect who can make an immediate impact for a defense that is being overhauled this weekend.
Overall Day 2 grades
Paschal, who knows plenty about overcoming adversity as a a cancer survivor, plays with leverage on the edge and chases ball-carriers all over the field. With the compensatory selection gained after losing receiver Kenny Golladay in 2021, Detroit grabbed the rangy and competitive Joseph to fill a big need at safety.
Brad Holmes is really knocking this draft out of the park. Paschal is a good run-stopper and joins Aidan Hutchinson in an interesting defensive end room in Detroit. Joseph didn’t produce much in college but has exciting tools to work with in coverage.