Day 2 of the 2022 draft brought the second and third rounds. This is where successful teams make the selections that turn them into contenders.
Everyone probably had a player in mind who they would have liked the Lions to select, ulimately at pick 46 after the move up to get Willoams.. Safety Jaquan Brisker and linebacker Nakobi Dean were both available. Instead, Holmes decided to add another pass-rusher to the mix as he selected Kentucky defensive lineman Josh Paschal.
Paschal is another high-character, high-motor player. He has the versatility to be used as a situational pass-rusher in the interior of the line as well as lining up out on the edge. Paschal has good play recognition and anchors well. His quickness off the ball could make him very effective at pushing the pocket.
Paschal uses his hands well to shed blockers and play the run, but he needs to create more of an arsenal of moves and use his hands better in the pass-rush.
It was in the third round that the Lions addressed the safety position by selecting Kerby Joseph of Illinois with their compensatory pick at number 97.
Joseph is a former receiver turned safety. Yet in his limited time patrolling the Fighting Illini secondary, he showed enough promise to make his way into the draft. Joseph is a long, rangy safety with solid speed and ball skills that carried over from receiver, but he is still raw.
There were more polished safeties to be had earlier in the draft, but Glen and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant proved they have the ability to develop players. Last season the secondary was a M.A.S.H unit, yet despite all the injuries the Lions’ young defensive backs played about as well as anyone could expect.
Joseph could become Tracy Walker’s eventual running mate at safety. But in the interim, he should be a very good special teams performer like he was at Illinois.