After drafting University of Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson at number two in the 2022 NFL draft, some were surprised to see the Detroit Lions draft another defensive lineman in Kentucky’s Josh Paschal at 46 overall.
But as we know in today’s NFL, if you can’t put pressure on the quarterback, chances are you are not going to be very successful on defense.
Here are five things to know about the newest Lion.
- Paschal, who also goes by “J.P.” was born in Washington, D.C, and is the son of Clayton and LaTauna Paschal. He has one sister, Kristian, as well as an older brother, Travaughn, who also played football for the University of Kentucky from 2011 to 2014.
- He arrives in Detroit after a highly decorated playing career at Kentucky. During his senior season, Paschal registered 15.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on his way to being named First-Team All-SEC. He was a three-time SEC academic honor roll member, and is also the only player in the school’s history to be named team captain in three separate years.
- Beyond playing professional football, one of Paschal’s goals in life is to eventually become a coach or a counselor in some capacity. He won the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award in 2021, after leading a peaceful march against racial injustice in Lexington during the summer of 2020. It’s easy to see why so many, including general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell, rave about Paschal’s personality and integrity.
- Paschal missed most of the 2018 season after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma in his right foot. After three surgeries on his foot, and even having to learn to walk again, he ultimately persevered and was able to get back on the field for the 2019 season. He credited the experience with giving him a new perspective on life, and a new appreciation for waking up each morning.
5. He is a pretty good actor (and the defender of decay), and should have some opportunities to hone those acting skills when he gets to Detroit. I can see it now - “Hi, I’m Josh Paschal and I’m here to tell you about Cure auto insurance!”