The hard work Ziggy Hood has put in during his career is about to pay off, as he's ready to take his game to the next level.
While Detroit's No. 1 pick could be (and has been) debated ad nauseum, there is certainly one position that has to be addressed early in the April draft: defensive tackle.
After jettisoning incumbent starter Cory Redding to the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions were able to shore up one linebacker position, but sacrificed the middle of the defensive line. Although Redding underperformed, he was nonetheless a solid presence. Over the weekend, former second-round pick and four-year DT Shaun Cody joined Houston.
That leaves 36-year old, newcomer Grady Jackson and 33-year old Chuck Darby anchoring the line with two relatively unproven talents in second-year players Andre Fluellen and Landon Cohen. The Lions need to add at least one additional defensive tackle to its rotation, and given the uncertainty of quality, they might just invest an early draft choice into the position.
According to Scout.com's Chris Steuber, it seems the Lions might do just that with Missouri DT Eugene "Ziggy" Hood.
In an exclusive to RoarReport.com, Steuber says that the Lions have scheduled a visit with Hood on April 7.
The Lions met extensively with Hood during the Senior Bowl in February, and later at the NFL scouting combine, where he was impressive. Detroit also had at least one scout in attendance at Missouri's Pro Day last week.
Simply put, while teams will try to meet with as many prospects as possible, multiple meetings (including private one-on-one sessions) indicate a strong presence on the draft board.
At 6'3, 300-pounds, many believe the quick-footed Hood will make a good transition into the pros. Although he isn't ranked as high as Boston College's B.J. Raji (who is a projected Top 10 pick), Hood isn't far behind.
The Lions will have talented outside linebackers in 2009 in Julian Peterson and Ernie Sims, but that won't matter much -- as it didn't in 2008 -- if the tackles up front are ineffective. Hood has the quickness to serve as Detroit's three-tech, and playing beside the larger, veteran Jackson (nose guard) would make him effective.
Most mock drafts have Hood slated as high as No. 27 in the first-round, but many scouts see him going early in round two.
The Lions have a selection to spend at 33, the first pick in the second round. Keep an eye on Hood if he's still around.
Hood is a solid defender who plays with a high motor. He has great size and quickness, and plays with leverage. He’s fast off the line, blades through the gap and quickly locates the ball carrier. He’s physical at the point of attack and holds his own against a bigger opposition and double teams. He’s a durable, reliable defender who demonstrates great toughness in the trenches. - Chris Steuber, Scout.com
Explosion, Intensity/Effort, Quickness off Ball
Disengaging skills, Techniques and Moves