Josh Paschal, Kerby Joseph Rookie Potential and Expectations

Can the Lions day two picks battle for starting positions during their rookie year?

Josh Paschal and Kerby Joseph Rookie Potential
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Paschal, Joseph Expectations

Paul Rochon: We lumped these next two guys expectations together because I put them in a similar place. Josh Paschal comes in, drafted behind Hutchinson who plays the same position. We already have Okwara. We have a little bit of depth. They’re just not a high-end talent. I want to say sacks. He can and Okwara might play a little bit standing up. 

They’re gonna move guys around. I need to see, especially as a mid-second-round pick that I think was a bit of a reach with who was on the board. I need to see him solidify himself as your third pass, rushing option behind Hutch and Okwara. That’s what I need and listen, it might end up tougher than it even looks because maybe someone else comes up that we’re not expecting.

So he’s got to justify that pick. I want to see him solidify himself as that. He doesn’t have to start, but he’s gotta be that third pass-rushing option. And maybe he moves inside on past rushing downs. Or maybe we have versatility there and a lot of it depends on the fronts and the looks that we use, but that’s what I want to see from him.

Kerby Joseph Expectations

I want to see something similar with Kerby Joseph, I actually have higher hopes for him. I think he can absolutely start in this league and I genuinely liked that pick. There was a player or two, I liked a little better at the spot on the board, in the draft. Cause there are some guys I really loved, but Kerby, Joseph was one of my favorite picks that we made this draft outside of the obvious, like Aidan Hutchinson.

Of course, he can be a starter. Now it’s rookie year, you’re playing as a DB. It’s not corner, but there’s still a lot to do. Again, become the third safety option. That’s my goal for you by the end of this season, become that third option 

A.J. Reilly: Now, correct me if I’m wrong but on Straight Shootin’, Matt kept saying that he could play corner or safety, but I think in the NFL, he’s going to strictly be a safety.

Paul Rochon: I do not want him playing corner. Listen, I will never underestimate a team’s ability to boggle players. Like they bungled them and misuse them all the time. It happens. To me, he’s a safety all the way. I wouldn’t at all, not even a nickel, there’s just no reason for it. 

A.J. Reilly: for it. And you bring up nickel, but that’s an interesting point because they talked about changing their defensive scheme to a 425

We’re just going to put 5 DBs on the field. 

Josh Paschal Expectations

Paul Rochon:  Let’s be real, in the modern NFL right now. 425 is really your base defense. That’s nickel. That’s a four-three nickel and you run that more than you run a true four-three. You absolutely do. That’s the game, necessitates it. 

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And a lot of times it might be a bigger nickel where instead of having an extra corner on the field, maybe you have an extra safety on the field and it depends on the coordinator. It depends on your system and on the versatility of the guys that you have on the field of the team that you’re playing against. 

A.J. Reilly: But so anyways, I bring that up to say, it seems like with these draft picks that they’ve gone for athleticism because Josh Paschal is an athletic, defensive lineman from all accounts. Edge rusher.

Paul Rochon: He lacks a little agility and that’s what concerns me. But he’s fast for his size.

A.J. Reilly: I know that you’re a data guy, but when you get locked on to players, you tend to also speak about intangibles that are not measurable.

And by all accounts, he has. A number of those intangibles, right? Three-time captain at Kentucky, which is the first in their history, like a leadership kind of guy and can play multiple spots along that defensive front. So when we talk about Paschal, it’s not necessarily similar to what you were thinking.

What I want to see him do is in that three-technique on the defensive line, right between that guard, in that tackle, in that three-technique. Playing on Hutchinson’s side is the way that I see this playing itself out because Hutch is usually a nine technique end. He’s that wide end that likes to get up and in. 

Paul Rochon: It all depends on what front we’re in, of course. 

A.J. Reilly: But he typically played a nine technique at Michigan that outside edge.

Paul Rochon: He stood up at times too. It depends on the front.

Closing Expectations

A.J. Reilly: But anyway, you get where I’m going with it. I want my expectation for Paschal to really become that guy on Hutchinson side, playing more interior to allow that side of our defensive line to wreak havoc because then you’ve got two guys, pretty athletic that need to be handled, which is going to either free up a linebacker or somebody else, or it’s going to free up one of those two guys.

And I think that those two guys working in tandem together can have a pretty impactful start to their NFL career if they’re utilized correctly, as we’ve discussed. And if they buy into the system, which it seems like the two guys are character guys and Dan Campbell type guys that should be able to do that.

Now, Kerby Joseph, I want to see him grow into that role. You have high expectations for him. I’m kind of more of a wait-and-see. We definitely need help on that back end. And I want to see him challenge for a starting spot or become that fifth defensive back that we put on the field of her running a 425, depending on schemes so far and so forth.

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