Lions DL Da’Shawn Hand is the best rookie interior lineman through 3 weeks

Up until Sunday night ,
the Detroit Lions defense didn’t have much to hang their hat on. Their run
defense was porous at best, disastrous at worst. Their pass defense was almost
just as bad, allowing Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo to move the ball with
relative ease. Obviously, things went much better on Sunday night against the
New England Patriots, but throughout it all, one player has quietly performed at
an impressive level: fourth-round rookie Da’Shawn Hand. Hand has been so good,
in fact, that no other rookie interior defensive lineman has graded out better
by Pro Football Focus’ metrics: A brief look at the box score, and you would
never suspect Hand is having the type of season he is. While his 12 tackles, one
tackle for loss, leads all Lions defensive linemen, that’s not saying much
considering the rest of the Lions defensive line has been pretty bad. But even
putting aside his PFF grade and his box score stats for a second, perhaps Hand’s
greatest accomplishment is his immediate rise up the depth chart.
Sure ,
the Lions’ defensive line was full of underwhelming talent and leftovers from a
previous regime and scheme, but Hand managed to not only get himself a
rotational role immediately, but he’s already started two games. His 92 total
snap ranks third among Lions defensive linemen, only behind veterans Sylvester
Williams and Ricky Jean Francois.Where Hand has really thrived in his run
defense. While the Lions, as a team, have been downright horrible at stopping
opposing running backs, it mostly hasn’t been Hand’s fault, who has been holding
his ground solidly at the three and five-tech positions. In the first two games,
Hand had seven “run stops,” per PFF, tied for the most among interior defenders.
Ultimately, Hand is going to need some help in order to get this Lions run
defense—which currently ranks last in yardage allowed (149.3 per game) and yards
per carry (5.4)—turned around. But for Hand to be leading the way as a
fourth-round rookie is seriously impressive.Khalil Mack-to-Detroit Lions rumors
quickly shot down If you’re a Detroit Lions fan tuned into Twitter, you probably
spent Sunday night dreaming of Khalil Mack in a Lions jersey. That’s because Dan
Leach of local sports talk radio station 97.1 The Ticket told a story on Sunday
night about meeting a limo driver that told him Khalil Mack was in town to meet
with general manager Bob Quinn:While some media outlets ran with the
story Womens
Jarrad Davis Jersey
, we decided not to because... well, because a
second-hand story about a random limo driver is nowhere close to an acceptable
source to believe a far-fetched story in the first place.And as expected, the
local media quickly debunked this story as false. MLive’s Kyle Meinke, who just
so happened to break the Lions’ trade of Eli Harold story, got the facts
straight:But don’t feel too down on the situation. Just because this story isn’t
true, that doesn’t mean the Lions are necessarily completely out on Mack. Rumors
more substantial than limo drivers suggest that there are at least four teams
seriously pursuing Mack, and the Oakland Raiders “haven’t slammed the door” on
trade inquiries. There’s no indication whether the Lions are one of those teams
or not, but trading for the former Defensive Player of the Year would require
some salary cap maneuvering. Obviously, Mack wants a big, new deal and the Lions
only have approximately $10.5 million in cap space.For now, let’s just wait this
one out before we go believing every little rumor we hear.
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