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Josh Paschal Is 'Thankful for the Lions'

Defensive end Josh Paschal is "thankful" the Detroit Lions have taken a chance on him.

High character. High motor. 

It's the word on the street regarding the Detroit Lions' 2022 second-round draft pick, Josh Paschal.

The 6-foot-3, 278-pound defensive end, as a former three-time captain at the University of Kentucky, appears to be a perfect fit for the locker room that Dan Campbell & Co. are trying to build in the Motor City. 

Campbell and Detroit general manager Brad Holmes have made a concerted effort to add guys with strong leadership qualities since taking over their respective jobs with the Lions a year ago. 

Paschal not only was the first three-time captain in the history of the Wildcats football program, but he also battled and beat a scare with cancer as a sophomore at UK. 

It helped him earn further respect from his Kentucky teammates, which is something he talked about Saturday during his rookie minicamp press conference. 

"I always had respect from everybody, as far as leading by example, ever since I was a freshman. But, it was when I went through my cancer diagnosis my sophomore year. I went through that, and they saw how I carried myself and how I pushed myself to my limit during that time, but also helped encourage others, as well," Paschal told reporters. "And so, I was able to earn the guys' respect even more from that. And, guys started to look up to me." 

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Paschal didn't know if he would ever even play football again after his cancer diagnosis in 2018. So, to him, being given the opportunity to play in the NFL is "a blessing."  

"When we walk out to the facility and you come out here and see all the Lions stuff, all the blue, you realize, I'm practicing in the NFL," Paschal said. "Man, it makes me want to shed a tear, because you've got to think, in 2018, people didn't think I was going to play football again. At the end of the day, I was fighting something completely different than football. And so to be out here and be able to practice, it's a blessing. So, I'm thankful for that and thankful for the Lions for taking a shot on me."

The Wildcats product is expected to be a difference-maker against the run immediately, and he offers Detroit with a solid degree of versatility, with the ability to line up in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defensive scheme. 

Paschal, himself, believes that he'll be able to play all across the defensive line for the Lions

"I think I fit as that guy, a big guy, a big defensive end," he expressed. "That's what we're called, and I feel like I can play across that front, but specifically on the edge. Or even if I have to kick inside for the run game, I can do that, too, and for the pass game. So, I feel like I'll be a versatile piece on that defense."