5 biggest losers for the Detroit Lions after the 2024 NFL Draft

Coming out of the draft, these five Lions players go down as the biggest losers.
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4. DT Levi Onwuzurike

Onwuzurike's NFL career was set off course from the start by a lingering back injury, and a major back surgery after being injured early in 2022 training camp cost him that entire season. Apparently healthy last season, without so much as an appearance on an injury report if memory serves, he played in 10 games (13 counting the playoffs) and 167 defensive snaps counting the postseason. When he was on the field, he was not noticeable.

Onwuzrike's tenure in Detroit has felt over all offseason, it's just a matter of time. The drafting of LSU defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo in the sixth round (pick No. 189 probably sealed the former second-round pick's fate.

Onwuzurike simply can't be relied on, and he hasn't performed when he has played. It's unfortunate and out of his control due to his back issues, but he's easy to mark as a post-draft loser.

3. DE Josh Paschal

Pride of Detroit has Paschal as a player who benefitted from the Lions' draft, and there may be something to that angle. But the 2022 second-round pick is entering a make-or-break season in 2024, and let's highlight some of what Brad Holmes said about Wingo.

"The role? I originally had looked at him as purely a defensive tackle that was going to be playing inside. When I kept watching him, his rushing ability really started to come to light. I kind of put him in a separate box. A little bit like when we talked about (Josh) Paschal coming out. He's got a lot of stuff on tape as an edge rusher."

Paschal has lined up across the Lions' defensive front over his two seasons, however limited his action has been due to injuries (22 games, 693 defensive snaps). Holmes is talking about Wingo in a similar vein versatility-wise right off the bat, which doesn't seem like great news for Paschal.

We already knew Paschal was heading into a pivotal season in his career. The addition of Wingo in the draft fortifies the idea, while also possibly limiting his opportunity to fulfill his promise as a former top-50 overall pick.