The 2022 NFL Draft is a wrap and the Detroit Lions used two of their top three picks to solidify their defensive line.
With the No. 2 overall pick, the Lions selected EDGE Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan, and with the No. 46 overall pick, the Lions selected EDGE Josh Paschal out of Kentucky.
Chances are that Hutchinson will be a starter out of the gates, while Paschal will get in the game as a part of certain packages, but you can bet both will have a chance to make an impact beginning in Week 1.
On Monday, Pro Football Focus released an article titled, “Most and least improved units following the 2022 NFL Draft,” and the Detroit Lions defensive line topped the list.
Here is what PFF had to say about what should be an improved Lions defensive line.
The Detroit Lions’ defensive line will be improved
From Pro Football Focus:
With how the Lions have addressed the past two offseasons, there’s no doubt general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell want to build this roster back up through the trenches. Oregon tackle Penei Sewell was the headliner of a 2021 Lions draft class where the first three selections attacked the offensive and defensive lines. Detroit followed that up by adding two top-50 players on PFF’s big board to its defensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft.
It’s difficult to see Aidan Hutchinson failing to produce in Detroit. The 6-foot-7, 268-pound edge defender out of Michigan might not quite be the athlete that No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker is, but he did earn 95th percentile or better finishes in the change-of-direction drills (shuttle and three-cone). And from a production standpoint, Hutchinson graded out just below the elite Myles Garrett–Nick Bosa–Chase Young tier over his college career.
Detroit’s second-round selection, Josh Paschal, is an explosive 270-pound edge defender out of Kentucky. He’s not going to consistently win as a pass-rusher, but he will push the pocket and can line up both inside and outside depending on the front. Paschal is coming off a career-best 90.0 PFF grade with the Wildcats in 2021.
The Lions now have an intriguing edge rotation, with Hutchinson and Paschal joining the Okwara brothers and Charles Harris, who is fresh off a two-year, $13 million extension.