Allen Park — The Detroit Lions made their second draft trade with the New England Patriots in as many days, moving back into the fourth round to select Alabama defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand with the No. 114 pick Saturday.
“I think he has a great ceiling,” general manager Bob Quinn said. “He brings a rare combination of size, length, athleticism. He’s a really, thickly-built guy. Once you guys see him in person, he’s really thick, good body. The position versatility, the playing strength, the technique, all of those things that we look for really stood out.”
The top high school player in the country in 2014, according to some recruiting services, Hand didn’t live up to the billing during his four seasons at Alabama. The 6-foot-4, 297-pounder finished his college career playing in 34 games, recording 71 tackles, nine sacks and one forced fumble.
“I think with any player coming out of high school to now, you mature a lot,” Hand said in a conference call with Detroit reporters. “Your technique gets better and then your football IQ gets better. I’ve got a ‘win’ attitude, that’s what I plan on using when I come (to Detroit).”
In Detroit, Hand will be reunited with former linemate A’Shawn Robinson and defensive line coach Bo Davis, who joined Matt Patricia’s staff this offseason.
“He’s just high intensity, high energy, and he’s going to get the best out of you,” Hand said about Davis.
Hand’s size and skill set could spell trouble for Lions defensive end Cornelius Washington, who signed as a free agent last offseason. He has a cap hit of $3.47 million this season, but his release would free up $2.72 million in space.
To acquire Hand, the Lions gave the Patriots a third-round pick in next year’s draft. The trade is similar to one the Lions made in 2015, when the team shipped a future third-round pick to draft defensive lineman Gabe Wright No. 113 overall.
Detroit also made a deal with the Patriots on Friday, sending picks 51 and 117 in exchange for pick 43. The Lions used that selection to take Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson.
Quinn has now made six trades with his former employer. Friday night, he explained why it’s so easy to deal with the Patriots.
“It’s really easy to work with people you know, right?” Quinn said. “I’m just telling you. 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. If I call someone that I’ve worked with, whether it’s Atlanta, Tennessee, New England, you know, the other teams I’ve been associated with, those trades happen really fast because it’s either yes or no.”
The Lions added a defensive line, an offensive tackle and a fullback on the third day of the draft. We discuss.