The Detroit Lions coaching staff and front office got a good look at Eastern Michigan University defensive lineman Pat O'Connor at their local pro day in Allen Park ahead of the draft.
O'Connor impressed enough in that workout that the Lions made him their final selection in the 2017 draft, the
250th pick overall.
"The local pro day was great," O'Connor said in a conference call with local reporters after being drafted. "I performed to the best of my ability being able to perform in front of coach Kris (Kocurek) and work with him and just showcase my ability."
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end was a four-year player for the Eagles, and finished his career last season with 42 tackles, 14.5 for loss, 8.5 sacks, five forced fumbles (fourth in the nation) and 16 quarterback hurries. He was also a team captain.
"That's something we would always do in practice day in and day out, practice fumbles. Practice swatting the ball out of the quarterback's hand," O'Connor said of his five forced fumbles.
"A sack was just an, 'at a boy' and a sack fumble was a game changer. So, it was things we practice day in and day out so we could transition to the field."
O'Connor will try to catch on at a position with good depth right now for the Lions. He joins veterans Ziggy Ansah, Kerry Hyder, Cornelius Washington, Armonty Bryant and Anthony Zettel.
The Lions selected defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter from Arkansas in the sixth round.
View photos of the Detroit Lions' seventh-round pick (250th overall), Eastern Michigan University DE Pat O'Connor.