DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s hard to forget Dan Campbell’s introductory press conference as the new Detroit Lions head coach. He made a strong first impression by saying his team is going to ‘bite a kneecap off.’
That intensity was matched during the NFL Draft. Seven players received a phone call from a Detroit area code, with new general manager Brad Holmes on the other line, and they’re guys that give off that same ‘bite a kneecap off’ type of energy.
“The energy that they bring, coach Campbell’s philosophy matches hand-and-hand with mine. And I can’t wait to step on that field and match that same energy,” Lions first-round pick, Penei Sewell said. “Also, to give Brad that same energy he had when he picked me.”
After taking Sewell seventh overall, the Lions next two picks came in the form of defensive tackles – and they like causing problems.
“I like to (bleep) people up. I like to get off the line and just put my helmet, or my hands, on offensive linemen and (bleep) up an offensive scheme,” Lions second-round pick Levi Onwuzurike said. “I like pushing them back and two, three yards and just making them feel like (bleep).”
“I’m going to create havoc. I’m going to destroy blocks. I’m going to make plays in the backfield, while also doing my job the correct way,” Lions third-round pick Alim McNeill said.
Onwuzurike is out of Washington and was selected at No. 41. McNeill played his college ball at NC State and was picked at No. 72.
At the end of the third round, the Lions selected Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu with pick No. 101.
On the third and final day of the draft, the Lions selected its first offensive weapon for quarterback Jared Goff in the fourth round – USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown at pick No. 112. Detroit then made a trade with the Cleveland Browns for the very next pick. They used it to take Purdue linebacker Derrick Barnes at No. 113.
Detroit’s final pick of the draft came in the seventh round and was the third to last pick of the entire draft – Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson at No. 257.
“Honestly, I thought I was going undrafted,” Jefferson said. “I cherish this moment. I got to give it up to god for real because, you know, I was down throughout the whole process, but I’m grateful.”