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NFL Executive: Lions Second Round Pick Makes Defense 'Slower'

NFL executives and evaluators shared their opinions with The Athletic on the Detroit Lions haul from the 2022 Draft.
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The Detroit Lions have been given high praise regarding the selections of general manager Brad Holmes in the past two drafts he has been at the helm of.

Drafting Aidan Hutchinson and Jameson Williams provides the team with two players who can become game-changers early in their careers. 

The selection of Josh Paschal has been praised by some draft pundits due to his strong leadership and strong performances his final campaign at Kentucky. 

Holmes expressed following Day 2 why he felt Paschal would be a solid addition to the Lions' roster. 

"He’s got pop in his hands. He’s got incredible instincts. He can shed, he can find the football in the run game. He’s beat some really good tackles down in the SEC," Holmes said. "He’s a skillful pass rusher. He’s got crafty hands and he’s explosive. He’s high-motor explosive. He’s a football player, and that’s what we talk about all the time. Not one of these guys that we’ve acquired aren’t gritty. That’s what all these guys are. These guys are gritty football players. Josh is one, but he’s more than that. He’s outstanding, intangibles and character. He should be able to contribute hopefully soon.”


Not all of the evaluations have been positive, though. 

An NFL executive who recently spoke to The Athletic provided an "unfiltered" opinion of the players the team acquired in the draft. 

“I feel like this is the best I have seen Detroit draft in a long time,” a league executive told NFL writer Mike Sando. “I do not love all their picks. I did not love taking the Kentucky kid, who makes their defense slower, but more than in the past I felt like Detroit made moves that were football-intelligent.”

Based on players that have been selected the first two years of Holmes' tenure, it is becoming clearer which type of players and which intangibles the Lions and their personnel department rate high on their draft board.

“You look at their first five picks, and I think they are guys known for playing hard,” an evaluator said. “There is a theme to what they did. They got tough, gritty, solid guys. Williams got ejected from a game for a special-teams targeting hit on the punt coverage team.”