Position: Defensive line
Drafted/School: 4th Round (114th overall) / Alabama
Height/Weight: 6-3, 297
2018 Stats: 13 games played, 5 starts, 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
2018 in review:
To say that Hand was the steal of the draft for the Lions would be completely unjust. Prior to being lost for the season after a knee injury suffered in a Week Fourteen win over the Arizona Cardinals, Hand established himself as a key member of the Lions’ reworked defensive line.
Hand came from a defensive system at Alabama that is similar to the one employed by Quinn and Patricia. With the Lions, he was reunited with former Crimson Tide teammate A’Shawn Robinson and defensive line coach Bo Davis.
He flourished as a versatile piece moving all over the defensive front, helping the Lions finish the season with the tenth fewest rushing yards allowed after they struggled in that area to start the season. He was also a PFF darling, finishing with an overall grade of 87.3, good for 13th among qualifying interior defensive lineman.
Detroit Lions Cutter & Buck Women's Ace Polo - Black
Next Steps for 2019:
The Lions are likely to add an edge rusher or two in free agency and the draft, but that won’t affect Hand’s role on defense. Along with Robinson and Damon “Snacks” Harrison, he is part of what should be one of the NFL’s most stout defensive interiors in 2019. What makes him unique to the Lions is his ability to flex outside in even-man sets.
Additionally, Hand mentioned his desire to become “one of the fastest D-lineman in the league.” Should he make good on his goal, Hand would add to his versatility and value, and could be in for bigger things in 2019, particularly in pass rushing situations.