At first glance, you might be wondering why the Detroit Lions decided to go back to the defensive line well with their selection of Kentucky’s Josh Paschal, just one day after using the second overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft on Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.
As always with football, there are a ton of variables at play when it comes to these decisions during draft day, and when it comes to roster construction as a whole. General managers and decision-makers are not just looking at their team’s needs for the 2022 season, but years down the line.
Yes, there were and still are pressing needs facing general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell. But with the way the game is played in the NFL today, being able to get after the passer is more important than ever. And for what has seemed like forever now, the Lions have had major issues in making the opposing quarterback uncomfortable.
Paschal offers pass rushing chops off of the edge, but can also kick inside on passing downs, making life difficult for guards attempting to block him one on one. In 2021, he amassed 52 total tackles, including 15 for loss and five sacks. You can clearly see in his highlights below, Paschal has an instinctual feel for defending the run, something that definitely appealed to the Lions’ brass during their evaluation process.
Paschal is going to be a player who is capable of staying on the field all three downs, and immediately should be a part of the Lions' defensive line rotation. Let’s take a look at a quick compilation put together by the Lions of his time down in Lexington.
Quick Clips/Game Cut-Ups
Just watched Josh Paschal vs. Georgia. Played almost exclusive with his hand in the dirt.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) April 30, 2022
Crazy fast first step and plays with some nastiness. Seems like Georgia specifically avoided him for most of the game.
Watch here: https://t.co/8LwQKggBbl
I already see people complaining about the Lions picking Josh Paschal. Look at No. 4 in this video. He’s now a Lion.— Tony Dombrowski (@tonydombrowski) April 30, 2022
I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued. #OnePride | #NFLDraft