Lions Late Round Draft Pick Makes Bold Claim About Abilities

John Penisini

Getty John Penisini playing for Utah.

When the NFL Draft reaches its final day and final hours, it’s safe to say all players are slept upon by evaluators at that point, but a recent Detroit Lions pick had a bold prediction.

When the Lions selected John Penisini in the 6th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the defensive tackle admitted he was nervous to be lasting so late in the draft. Following being selected, Penisini admitted to relief, but also said folks would soon find out he was the most slept on player in the draft class.

Penisini played for Utah where he was most known as a clogger up front for the Utes. In his career, he had 80 total tackles, 5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He’s a better run stuffer and offers little in terms of a pass rush, but will be a player who will be counted on to stuff the middle for the Lions and add depth at the tackle position.

Whether or not he becomes the most overlooked player in the 2020 draft is now for Penisini to determine.

Lions 2020 Draft Picks

Detroit has traded away a pick this offseason, but also acquired a few selections within their move to trade Darius Slay. Now that the Lions have those picks, and have gained a selection in their deal for Duron Harmon, the Lions were up to 9 selections for this year’s draft coming in, including an extra third rounder.

The Lions got back a seventh round selection in the Harmon trade, but did deal away a fifth round pick. They got back a fifth round selection in the move to trade for Slay, but dealt it to move up to select Jonah Jackson.

Recent Lions Draft Results

After a tough 6-10 finish to the 2018 season, Detroit finished with a top 10 pick at No. 8. They were able to snag tight end T.J. Hockenson, who’s been one of the offensive bright spots thus far this season. That proves overall how a painful finish can lead to some better players.

As a whole, Detroit has done a decent job in recent drafts getting talent that can compete on the roster immediately. Last season’s top three picks are playing a major role for the team this season. Names such as Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, Jarrad Davis, Graham Glasgow and Tracy Walker are also playing a big role for the team when they are healthy and engaged.

While there have been a few mistakes, Bob Quinn has done a decent job to identify talent with some of the picks he has made thus far during his tenure in the Motor City. Another high pick gives him a chance at adding another impact player to the squad.

The Lions will now have plenty of shots to take in the 2020 draft with this high number of picks.

Lions Biggest 2020 NFL Draft Needs Moving Forward

Detroit could not pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, something that was painfully obvious for weeks during the season and that is a glaring problem given what the team has done to add to the front in recent months and years. Part of the problem has been injury, but beyond Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand, the Lions simply don’t have any young building blocks they can count on right now. The team has to find some form of consistency in the trenches, and that is why it’s a major need for them moving forward.

The Lions will have to focus on defense in this draft, but could also have some major offensive needs, both in the trenches and at the skill positions. Detroit would like to add wide receivers, and could also look to add a running back as well as offensive linemen. The team could also select a developmental quarterback as well in order to better fill their needs on the other side of the ball. Jeff Okudah, D’Andre Swift, Julian Okwara and Jonah Jackson are important additions, but the team has to do more and should have a good chance at some depth players on day 3.

Penisini will now have his chance to prove the other evaluators wrong and the Lions right.

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