Lions pick Ledbetter flexible on how he’ll be used

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Jeremiah Ledbetter played at Hutchinson Community College before transferring to Arkansas.

Allen Park — So, what is Jeremiah Ledbetter on the football field?

A defensive end or tackle?

“I’m going to play any position the Detroit Lions want me to play,” said Ledbetter, who Saturday was picked in the 6th round by the Lions, 205th overall. “I’m a defensive lineman, so I can play D-tackle or D-end.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s up to the coaches.”

Ledbetter is a 6-foot-3, 280-pound lineman who had 49 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks at Arkansas. He ran a 4.84 time in the 40 at the combine and scouts appear to like his ability to explode into blockers.

There’s the sense Ledbetter is a tweener. Not necessarily big or fast or quick or strong enough, particularly, for either position.

But Ledbetter feels he can, and will, produce.

“It doesn’t matter to me, whatever they want me to do, I’ll do it,” Ledbetter said regarding the possiblity of adding or dropping weight. “I’d be comfortable (doing either).”

The heaviest Ledbetter played at was approximately 285 pounds, while the lightest was 266, when he transferred into Arkansas from Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.

It was a long afternoon, and previous two days, of waiting for Ledbetter, whom most mock drafts had going in the middle rounds.

Ledbetter spent the time with family, which helped calm him down. Ledbetter’s father Weldon was a 1983 7th-round pick by Tampa Bay and cousin Isaac Byrd was a 1997 6th-round pick by Tennessee, feels he will produce.

“It was a long day,” Ledbetter said. “They (dad, cousin) went through the same thing, and they encouraged me.

“Man, it was a long process. I was mainly with my family, night and day, just chilling and relaxing and waiting for that phone call.

“I knew this is a long process for me. It’s been a tough one, and I’m glad I’m a Detroit Lion now.”