What a difference a year has made for Detroit Lions 2022 second-round pick Josh Paschal. Most of last offseason and training camp Paschal was sidelined due to a sports hernia injury that required surgery.
Paschal didn't make his NFL debut last year until Week 6 and he also missed some time in December with a minor knee injury. He ended up playing in 10 contests as a rookie with 16 tackles, four quarterback hits and a two-sack performance against Chicago Week 16.
Paschal has come back much stronger in Year 2 and is determined to show everyone why the Lions made him a second-round draft pick out of Kentucky last year. He's consistently been among the second edge group behind Aidan Hutchinson and Charles Harris through the first week of camp, and he's looked pretty darn good so far.
"It's a big difference," Paschal said of this training camp vs. the one last year during his rookie season. "Being able to actually come out here and train for training camp. Not have to rehab an injury. Going out here confident, knowledgeable of the plays and you're just really going out here flying around working on your technique and trying to make plays, that's the big thing."
Paschal has the strength and ability to play both on the edge and inside in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's scheme, though he's been getting the majority of his reps on the outside. He's been really good setting an edge in the run game, something he showed an ability to do at a high level when healthy last year, and he's got some juice in the pass rush.
"I was just trying to get strong so I can stay violent," Paschal said of his training focus this offseason. "Violent in the run game and also rushing the passer with power. Just being able to work on my body and keep my body healthy as well."
Paschal looks to be in phenomenal shape, and this is a big training camp for him to prove he can be a consistent part of Detroit's attack up front along their defensive line.
View photos from Day 8 of Detroit Lions training camp on Monday July 31, 2023.
"That's one player I'm very excited for," Glenn said of Paschal before practice Monday. "He really didn't get a chance to go through training camp last year. He really didn't get a chance to go through the offseason training program last year. He's been able to do that and I think we're starting to see the fruits of that show up.
"He's a powerful, physical man. That's why we drafted him in the second round. We expected those things from him. And he's going to be a good player. He's going to be a really good player and I'm excited to see what he's going to give us during the season."