The Detroit Lions need to try some new things defensively this week, and on that note rookie defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor is in line to make his NFL debut.
After Sunday’s undressing by the Seattle Seahawks, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said everything would be looked at it to fix a horrible defense. Personnel changes are one of the easiest things to do, where plausible anyway, and on Tuesday morning Campbell hinted at one.
Campbell made his regular Tuesday morning apperance on 97.1 The Ticket, and talked about undrafted rookie defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor.
We’re going to give Meech a go this week,” Campbell said Tuesday morning. “We’ll see if he can kinda help us out there a little bit.”
Taylor made the Lions’ 53-man roster with a strong showing in training camp and preseason (71.3 grade from Pro Football Focus in the preseason, ninth-highest on the team–h/t to Pride of Detroit). But he’s been a healthy scratch for all four games so far, surely due in part to needing bodies elsewhere.
What could Demetrius Taylor bring to the Lions defense?
Taylor showed some quickness and ability to generate interior pressure during the preseason. His college numbers at Appalachian State back that up, particularly his last three seasons.
2021: 7.0 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss
2020 (11 games): 6.0 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, four pass breakups
2019: 7.0 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, four pass breakups
Leaving aside playing in the Sun Belt against a lower level of competition, production is production and Taylor was disruptive on the interior. The Lions can certainly use someone who can cause some disruption up front, even if it’s only sprinkled in for 5-10 snaps or something.
The Lions are expected to activate rookie second-round pick defensive lineman Josh Paschal from the PUP list this week, but Campbell suggested he’s two or three weeks away from being ready to play.
So Taylor will get his first opportunity against the Patriots on Sunday, with a path to earning a bigger role moving forward.