Lions Trade Up With Patriots Yet Again To Draft DE From Alabama

Hand, the top-rated recruit in the country in 2014, is a physical specimen loaded with natural talent.

Will Burchfield
April 28, 2018 - 1:38 pm
Sep 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand (9) plays against Florida State Seminoles offensive lineman Derrick Kelly II (74) in their game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

© Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


The Lions went the first two days of the draft without selecting a front-seven player, arguably their most glaring team need. Bob Quinn wasted little time addressing that issue on day three. 

Detroit traded up early in the fourth round to draft Alabama defensive end Da'Shawn Hand with the 114th overall pick. The Lions sent their 2019 third-rounder to the Patriots to facilitate the deal. 

Hand, the top-rated recruit in the country in 2014, is a physical specimen loaded with natural talent. His versatility allows him to play on both the edge and the interior of the defensive line. His 6'4, 297-pound frame is more than pro-ready. 

But he never quite lived up to his potential at Alabama, and there are questions about his desire. Scouting reports indicate he's prone to coasting at the point of attack. Hand recorded 27 tackles (3.5 for loss) and three sacks as a senior. The physical traits, no doubt, are there. It's just a matter of unlocking the talent. 

Detroit entered the draft with holes at both defensive end and defensive tackle. Hand, in some ways, fills both. He isn't a prototypical pass rusher, more adept at getting to the quarterback from the interior, but he should ease some of the burden on Ziggy Ansah. 

Hand's off-field record includes a DUI in 2017, although he wasn't actually driving at the time of his arrest. He was sleeping behind the wheel, with the keys in the ignition, while the car was parked.

Quinn has now orchestrated five trades with the Patriots in his three years as Detroit's GM, including three in the draft. He also traded up with New England on Friday to draft running back Kerryon Johnson int the second round. 

“It’s really easy to work with people you know, right? I’m just telling you," said Quinn, who spent the first 15 years of his professional career with the Patriots. "You call some teams and it would take, like, 30 minutes to do a trade because they can’t make a decision. I’m just telling you how it is. Some teams you can call and you can get it done in, like, 30 seconds, so it really depends on the team."

Quinn said his trade with New England on Friday, for example, barely took a minute to come together. 

The Lions have two picks remaining in the draft: Round 5 (153 overall) and Round 7 (237).