The Lions doubled up on edge rushers with two of their first three picks, but the plan for second-round DE Josh Pascal is to play on the edge on run downs and kick inside as an interior pass rusher, per the Athletic’s Chris Burke.
“I think I fit as that guy — a big guy, a big defensive end. That’s what we’re calling it. I feel like I can play across that front, but particularly on the edge, or even if I need to kick inside for the run game. I can do that, too, and for the pass game,” Paschal said.
Lions third-round S Kerby Joseph played in a deep, rover role in college but Burke says Detroit has him closer to the line of scrimmage at rookie camp.
“That’s actually what I want to do. I want to be able to be more versatile on the field. I would always be on the field, so I wouldn’t have to come off for different packages and stuff. If I could play nickel, safety … you could throw me in the corner spot if you wanted to. As long as I could stay on the field, as long as possible,” Joseph said.
- USA Today’s Josina Anderson reports one of the main goals for Packers CB Jaire Alexander was to be the NFL’s highest-paid corner on a per-year average and to do it on a four-year deal instead of five.
- Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette says this frees up Alexander to move inside to play nickel in 2022 when Green Bay goes to those packages, and removes any potential business ramifications by taking on that role since nickel corners are paid less than outside ones.
Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is already testing some long-held assumptions about how NFL general managers are supposed to operate. Among his many moves down the board in his first draft, two of Adofo-Mensah’s deals were with division rivals moving up for wide receivers — the Lions for first-round WR Jameson Williams and the Packers for second-round WR Christian Watson.
Teams typically hate trading inside the division to avoid giving any possible help to their biggest rivals, but Adofo-Mensah is willing to compromise if it helps the Vikings more.
“I don’t know you’re not supposed to trade within the division, but I think you need to be delicate about it,” he said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “It’s an uncomfortable position. I don’t think I would trade Justin Jefferson in the division. But a draft pick is an uncertain thing. You’re getting something back that is also uncertain. With Detroit, all else being equal and I had similar value somewhere else, I’d deal somewhere else. But that was our best option, we pulled the trigger, and I’m happy with what we did.
“I’m not dumb. I know every touchdown catch [Jameson Williams] scores against us, TV will show me or show my name. That’s life. If my feelings are going to get in the way of us making decisions to improve the team, I shouldn’t be in this seat. I made the decision because I’m in charge, but it’s more fair to say WE made the decision as an organization. The [draft] room was behind what we were doing … Detroit had [picks] 32 and 34, and we were targeting those picks for specific reasons.”