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Camp Spotlight: Defensive end Anthony Zettel


Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 270

College: Penn State

Experience: Third season

Outlook: Zettel burst onto the scene last year in his second season in the league after the Lions took him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft. The athletic edge rusher started all 16 games opposite Ziggy Ansah a year ago, and recorded 43 tackles, 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. 

Zettel is a high-energy player that has a motor that doesn't stop. He's versatile in that he has the size and athleticism to play both inside and outside, though he's mostly been on the edge early on in camp. It will be interesting to see how head coach Matt Patricia and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni utilize his skillset as they delve deeper into multiple schemes and fronts.

The Lions have a few options on the edge opposite Ansah. Kerry Hyder Jr. has returned from an Achilles injury that kept him out all of last season. Hyder has looked good through the early portion of camp. Cornelius Washington will also be in the mix for playing time, and rookie Da'Shawn Hand has the ability to play both inside and outside in multiple fronts. There could be other youngsters, like an Alex Barrett, who put themselves into the conversation at edge. 

How the Lions rotate among that group, and who emerges throughout the preseason, will be interesting to watch.

View photos of defensive end Anthony Zettel from Day 9 of 2018 Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Practice report: The Lions held a light practice in helmets, shorts and shells Monday as they get ready to head to Oakland for joint practices with the Raiders and the first preseason contest of the year.

As he's been most of camp, Zettel played right defensive end alongside Cornelius Washington, Sylvester Williams and Ricky Jean-Francois with the first-team defense.

One thing to note from Monday's practice was that Zettel rushed from a three-point, four-point and two-point stance during team drills. This is the first time Zettel has ever rushed the quarterback without having a hand in the dirt, so it's worth keeping an eye on how effective he is coming off the edge from a two-point stance in the preseason.

Quotable: "I don't think it really affects me much," Zettel said of the new defensive scheme and his role in it. "I just have to learn different positions and different ways to attack stuff and alignments and assignments. Other than that, it's just kind of learning every day from coaches and just going out there and trying hard."

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