Micah Parsons is a lock to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he has suggested he was nearly a Detroit Lion.
In hindsight, it’s unbelievable that sure-fire Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons fell to the Dallas Cowboys at the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Some teams that passed on him certainly look back with regret now, but it’s hard to say the Detroit Lions are clearly one of them.
Penei Sewell seemed like a slam-dunk pick for the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5 overall last April, but they passed on him. So he was there for Detroit at No. 7, and they of course took him.
The Lions certainly could’ve used Parsons though, as their pass rush and run defense needed (and still needs) impact players.
Micah Parsons suggests he was nearly a Detroit Lion
“I remember at the (Penn State) pro day, the Lions was like, ‘Man, if you on the clock, we taking you,’” Parsons said. “So, I was like, ‘Man, I could be a Lion right now.’”
“So, days before the draft, word got out that the Bengals were going to take (WR) Ja’Marr (Chase) instead of Penei (Sewell). So the Lions was like, ‘If Penei is here, he could be a generational lineman.’ So, you gotta take him to protect the quarterback, which makes a lot of sense, because linemen have a lot more value than linebacker if you only playing one position.”
Parsons acknowledged the Denver Broncos (who had the No. 9 pick) and the New York Giants (No. 11) expressed spme level of sentiment they’d take him, and ultimately didn’t. The Giants ultimately traded down from their pick, as the Chicago Bears moved up to get Justin Fields.
Looking back on the Matthew Stafford trade, it’s easy to lament the Lions not taking the Carolina Panthers’ offer that included the No. 8 overall pick. That pick could have brought Parsons into the fold, right after they took Sewell. But the Lions were not the only team to miscalculate some kind of chance to draft Parsons, and Sewell was not exactly a miss as he also has the look of a future star.