After taking Aidan Hutchinson second overall, the Detroit Lions have added another edge rusher by taking Josh Paschal with the 46th overall pick.
By any metric you can find the Detroit Lions had one of the league’s worst pass rushes in 2021, and the run defense wasn’t a whole lot better. Taking Aidan Hutchinson second overall obviously will help. In the second round of the draft on Friday night, Detroit added another defensive lineman, taking Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal at No. 46 overall.
Paschal had five sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season. In 45 career games at Kentucky, he tallied 13 sacks, 137 total tackles and 35.5 tackles for loss.
Paschal has an inspiring story. In 2018 he found a skin lesion on his right foot, which turned out to be an acral lentiginous melanoma–a deadly form of skin cancer. After several operations to remove the cancer, he had to re-learn how to walk. He returned to the field in 2019, and started all 13 games for the Wildcats.
Paschal tested well at the NFL Combine, with a 37.5-inch vertical and 123-inch broad jump. A 4.77 40-yard dash came with high-end 10 (1.57 seconds) and 20-yard (2.71 second) splits.
Josh Paschal looks like an ideal fit for the Lions
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com’s evaluation of Paschal says it all about how good a fit he seems to be for the Lions.
- Big personality who loves the game
- Only three-time full season captain in school history
Zeirlein further wrote, in his overview of Paschal:
“He’s like a block of granite at the point of attack with low pads and a heavy anchor. He has the twitch to see-and-shed against single blocks and the range to make a tackle a gap away. His face-up rush style lacks elusiveness and will see limited success off the edge, but his snap quickness fits perfectly as an interior rusher in sub-packages. Paschal might never be a star, but he’s a good future starter with winning character that coaches and fans will grow to love.”
Paschal has the versatility to line up anywhere, and at 268 pounds he could see a solid amount of time inside as the Lions mix in more four-down fronts this year. Skills and upside based on his athleticism score, with intangibles in spades? Sounds like a Dan Campbell Detroit Lion.