The Detroit Lions drafted the 23-year-old defensive-end Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth-round out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Hand joined the Lions with a little bit of baggage. In 2017 he was arrested and charged with operating a licensed vehicle under the influence. That became a bit of a concern for teams entering the draft, leading to Hand to fall to the Lions in the fourth round. He’s much more talented than his draft position.
Hand was also injured for a couple of games in 2017 with Alabama, and his sack numbers were nothing to write home about. He isn’t a Michael Strahan type of end; he’s more of a disrupter like Trey Flowers than an edge rusher. Hand has the ability to get to the quarterback, but he’s more effective setting the edge, stopping the run, allowing the linebackers behind him to flow freely to the ball and make a play.
When Hand was being recruited, he was considered the top high school prospect in the country; he received more than 90 offers. He narrowed it down to Alabama & Michigan, deciding to play for the best college coach in the country. He would be rewarded with a pair of National Championships.
In nine starts with the Crimson Tide in 2017, he only achieved 3 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss to go with 27 solo tackles. His numbers were anything but spectacular, especially when you consider how good the Alabama defensive line is year after year.
In his first professional season with the Lions, Hand started eight games recording 3 sacks, 22 solo tackles, 5 assists and forced 2 fumbles. Expect Hand to have a much better sophomore season with the Lions. Most of his work will come being blocked one on one because of Harrison, along with with Flowers, will each command a double-team more times than not. Expect rookie DE Austin Bryant to push Hand for the starting end opposite Flowers in training camp.