Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft: Reactions and pick grades
By Zach Payne
Round 2 , No. 46 overall: Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky
Much like last year, Detroit continues to invest significant resources into the trenches. Last year, they spent second and third-round picks on Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill to add youth to the interior defensive line. This year, adding talent off the edge was the priority.
In Paschal the Lions are getting a player that, like Hutchinson, has the capability of moving up and down the line. The early projection is that Paschal will likely play more inside as a 3-tech as an early-down player while he develops his pass rush arsenal.
Also like Hutchinson, Paschal is expected to come in and become a leader in the locker room, as he is another very high character player that fits the culture the Lions have been building.
Greg Goins, a writer for the SBNation site A Sea of Blue, wrote about what Detroit is getting from a leadership standpoint in Paschal.
"One thing is for sure – Paschal will quickly become a fan favorite with the Lions and will provide leadership, both on and off the field.”"
All of a sudden, the Lions’ edge group looks really deep on paper. Charles Harris, Romeo Okwara (who is coming off an Achilles injury, Julian Okwara and now Hutchinson and Paschal. Detroit has committed to beating up opposing teams in the trenches. Hopefully, that investment starts to pay dividends this season.
At worst Paschal should be a good run defender who has positional versatility to help the Lions. The gripe I have with this pick is the fact that there are other defensive needs to address. Nakobe Dean or Chad Muma were available to shore up the linebacker group. I respect Holmes prioritizing who he views as the best player available over strict positional need, but there are easy reservations about using such a high pick to double-dip on edge rushers.