With the team's ninth and final selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions added a second defensive tackle and third Buckeye, taking Ohio State product Jashon Cornell.
At one point, Cornell was considered the No. 1 high school recruit in the country by ESPN, but he never lived up to those lofty standards at Ohio State, where he didn't crack the starting lineup until his junior year.
"I always had the ability since I was young," Cornell said. "Coming into Ohio, I was a big-time recruit and I didn’t do what I needed to do early on."
Listed at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Cornell started all 14 games for the Buckeyes as a senior last season. Splitting his time between defensive tackle and defensive end, he finished with 30 tackles, 4.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
"I think this last year, as a senior leader on the defensive line. I brought the juice every day at practice and every day on Saturday," Cornell said. "I really treated my senior year as an NFL player, watching to film and being in the weight room and taking care of my business in the training room, stuff like that and my diet. That’s one thing that really changed this year in my production is I took care of all the little things and (didn't) worry about the big things."
Cornell joins college teammates Jeff Okudah and Jonah Jackson as members of Detroit's 2019 draft class. Not surprisingly, Cornell raved about what the Lions were getting in Okudah.
"Jeff Okudah is a franchise player," Cornell said. "The things that Jeff can do as a defensive back – being able to come in as a freshman and being able to watch Jeff grow, he was able to showcase his ability as one of the best defensive backs in the country. He came to practice every day, he showed out."
Additionally, growing up in Minnesota, Cornell has a bond with Lions center Frank Ragnow dating back to their days in high school.
"Yeah, it would be Frank’s dad or my Uncle Levi would take us on the rides (to football camps)," Cornell said. "We’d just hop in the car at 4, 5 o’clock in the morning and go skid across country. Especially us Minnesota guys, we didn’t have that big exposure that most (schools) had. ..We wanted to go out there and go compete across the country and that’s one thing me and Frank did at a young age because we went out and went to go compete to get our names on the chart.”
Jashon Cornell, DT, Ohio State
Dimensions: 6-foot-3, 285 pounds
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn. (Cretin-Derham Hall High School)
Notable: Last season: 30 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss, four sacks ... Played both defensive tackle and defensive end in college ... Started all 14 games for 2019 Big Ten champion Ohio State.