NFL executive seems to think Josh Paschal makes Lions defense ‘slower’

SideLion Report

One Detroit Lions draft pick has been subject to a lame post-draft narrative, and Josh Paschal now makes it two.

Because he wasn’t, metaphorically anyway, jumping up and down upon being drafted, Jameson Williams had to dismiss the notion he’s not happy the Lions drafted him. Josh Paschal was a somewhat surprising pick for Detroit in the second round, at pick No. 46. But he’s been seen as a good fit, and general manager Brad Holmes basically said he had to have him.

Paschal collegiate sack numbers at Kentucky don’t jump off the page, but he was absolutely a disruptive forced with 15 tackles for loss in 2021 and 31 tackles for loss over his final three seasons.

Mike Sando of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke to a league executive about the Lions’ 2022 draft (quotes courtesy of

“I feel like this is the best I have seen Detroit draft in a long time,” “I do not love all their picks. I did not love taking the Kentucky kid, who makes their defense slower, but more than in the past I felt like Detroit made moves that were football-intelligent.”

Josh Paschal makes the Lions’ defense slower?

Paschal wasn’t necessarily mentioned among the most athletic defensive lineman in this year’s draft class. But 268 pounds, he ran a 4.77 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine with high-end 10 and 20-yard splits on his way to a 9.7 Relative Athletic Score. NFL Next Gen Stats had him tied for second among this year’s edge rusher class in Athleticism Score, with No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker. Does that sound like a “slow” player? Or someone who will “make their (the Lions’) defense slower?”

It’s easy for someone, in this case a “league executive”, to offer quotes when they’re promised anonymity by a media member. This league executive’s total assessment of the Lions’ 2022 draft was pretty positive, he just had the one quote with negative connotation about Paschal’s speed or suddenness. That sentiment also happens to be wrong.

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