Friday afternoon, former Wolfpack standout Alim McNeill heard his name. Selected 72nd overall in the third round, McNeill was drafted by the Detroit Lions. It won’t take long for him to make a difference.
The Lion entered last year as some experts pick to be a dark horse Super Bowl contender. Yet by midseason, they sat at the bottom of the NFC North with their Head Coach and GM fired. When all was said and done, they finished at 5-11 with the 28th ranked rush defense.
That’s where McNeill comes in. The 6’2″ 320 pounder from Raleigh will bring much needed support to the defensive interior of the Lions. Through 30 games with the Wolfpack, McNeill had 17.5 tackles for loss with 10 sacks. An athletic stud that has both power and speed, McNeill caught the eye of Mel Kiper Jr. early.
“A big body. He could be a throwback to what we were used to seeing in the 80s and 90s.” – Mel Kiper Jr.
With Detroit’s 2nd rounder DT Levi Onwuzurike (Washington), there’s no doubt come Sunday’s in fall, the Lions will be in a much better spot defensively, albeit young.
NC State now has 20 NFL draft picks since 2016. Nearly half of those in the third round or better with 7 being part of the D-Line crew. So while we talk about being QBU, maybe we should also start putting more emphasis on the big boys in the trenches.