The Detroit Lions have traded an undisclosed 2011 draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks for 2008 first round draft pick Lawrence Jackson, a defensive end from USC. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer speculates a sixth-round draft pick could be coming back to Seattle. The Lions previously held two sixth-round picks including one from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jackson has played in all 32 games of his NFL career and has gotten the start in 24 of those games. Two years worth of production has yielded just 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks, numbers that have failed to live up to the expectations that come along with being the 28th overall draft pick.
Former Lions draft bust Mike Williams is attempting to revive his career in Seattle, perhaps the same can happen with a player moving from Seattle to Detroit. Spending time around guys like Kyle Vanden Bosch can only help Jackson as he tries to get his career on track.
In retrospect, Lawrence’s draft bust status may not be all that surprising as the pick was questioned at the time. Scout, Inc. had this analysis:
This is one of the most surprising picks in what has already been a surprising first round. We thought the Seahawks would address their needs with this pick, and they need help at tight end and wide receiver. Clemson defensive end Phillip Merling was still on the board, too, and we think he would have been a better fit than Jackson. All that being said, Jackson has good quickness for a 271-pounder and has the upper-body strength to become a good run-stopper. However, he doesn’t have the closing speed you’d like to see in a first-round end and he struggles to hold his ground when the opposition double-teams him.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson gave the Seahawks’ 2008 draft a “C” grade at the time and offered this regarding Lawrence Jackson:
Jackson is a solid talent at defensive end, but there have been a lot of underachievers coming off the USC line the past several years. Still, Jackson has good quickness. The pick could have been used on one of the many wideouts still on the board, but that position was entirely ignored.
Jackson became expendable after being passed on the depth chart by former defensive tackle Red Bryant. Jared DeVries figures to be the current Lion most threatened by this move.