Seventh Round Pick Pat O’Connor Could Outplay His Draft Slot


What Does Pat O’Connor, The Lions’ Seventh Round Pick, Bring To The Team?


When you google search “Pat O’Connor vs.” the results that come up are not for the Lions’ seventh round pick. You will see a number of professional wrestling bouts from the 1950s. That is usually as much work as I have to do to find usable game tape for a draft prospect. Doing a search for “Pat O’Connor Combine” reveals a single line entry on the NFL’s site. Change the search to “Pat O’Connor highlights” and something does come up thankfully. A soccer player has the first entry, but there are a couple videos of the player I was looking for; before a 1970s boxer and a promising high school quarterback dominate the remaining entries.

What Pat O’Connor’s Highlights Show

What the Lions’ seventh round draft pick does well is extremely important. O’Connor does his job. When asked to rush the passer off the edge, O’Connor bursts off the line and swipes at offensive tackles’ hands before they latch onto him. On running plays he stays in his gap, forcing option quarterback to commit before pursuing the ball carrier. When he pursues, it is not with the half-assed effort that many of the draft’s top prospects do; O’Connor looks like the type of player who has never jogged in his life.

O’Connor uses a variety of techniques in his efforts to get to the ball, and when stymied he continues to work. Many of his highlights come from his second or third move. He also blows past offensive tackles on a regular basis, but in the transition from Eastern Michigan to the NFL, that ability is unlikely to translate. His Pro Day numbers were more than adequate. His 4.36s 20 yard shuttle time would have been among the best in the Combine DL group but the rest of his times were average. He is a good athlete, but not the kind that can just run around NFL tackles.

What Did The Lions Get In Pat O’Connor

The Lions got a solid athlete who works hard and does his job. O’Connor is likely going to end up on the practice squad, but could very well be worth the Lions’ time. He may also be the player that comes out of nowhere and makes the team. At 6’4″ and 270 lbs, he fits the profile of what the Lions are looking for in a closed end. The Lions are not particularly deep at the defensive end position. O’Connor has an opening to make the 53 man roster.

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About the Author

Ash Thompson
Ash Thompson is a fanatical football fan, and less fanatical hockey fan despite his Canadian heritage. He is sorry aboot that. His spirit animal is a beaver with a shark's head. He is also known as /u/a5hcrack on reddit, and can be found on twitter @a5hcrack