Detroit Lions stay in trenches, take DTs Onwuzurike, McNeill

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

DETROIT — The Detroit Lions selected a pair of defensive tackles on the second day of the NFL draft, taking Levi Onwuzurike of Washington in the second round and Alim McNeill of N.C. State in the third on Friday night.

Onwuzurike played mostly nose tackle with the Huskies. He was a second-team All-American in the preseason, but he opted out of the 2020 season.

“It was real difficult just watching my boys out there,” Onwuzurike said. “I was real proud of them, real proud of what they did that season. It was for sure hard to watch. I felt like I went back to being a fan.”

It's the second straight day the Lions tried to improve on the line of scrimmage. They drafted offensive tackle Penei Sewell — who also opted out last season — with the seventh overall pick. Onwuzurike played against Sewell when Washington faced Oregon.

“One of the quickest players I've ever played against,” Onwuzurike said. “Very balanced, very big, but also has an athletic build. He's almost like a tight end at the tackle position. He's elite.”

Onwuzurike was taken at No. 41. He played in all 13 games in 2019, starting 12. He was named to the AP's All-Pac-12 second team. He had 95 tackles and seven sacks in three seasons at Washington.

McNeill, the draft's 72nd pick, made the AP's All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team this past season.

Onwuzurike entertained Detroit-area reporters on his introductory Zoom call with his carefree attitude. He sprinkled expletives liberally into his responses and seemed excited to be drafted, even though he wasn't taken until the second day.

“I wasn't tripping,” he said. “At the end of the day, wherever I end up, I'm going to ball out, so I was just waiting.”

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Noah Trister, The Associated Press