The Lions traded up in the third round to draft guard Jonah Jackson out of Ohio State with the 75th overall pick.
Jackson is the second Ohio State Buckeye drafted by the Lions in their first four picks. Cornerback Jeff Okudah was selected in the first round.
“He’s a brother, he’s a fellow Buckeye. We had a good rapport the short time I was there, a great dude and a great competitor that I’m ready to go to war with,’’ Jackson said about Okudah on a conference call on Friday night.
Detroit traded picks 85, 149 and 182 to the Indianapolis Colts for picks 75 and 197 to move up to grab Jackson, who is 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds. The Lions coached Jackson during the Senior Bowl where they got to know each other. Still he didn’t know if they would draft him.
He played his first four years at Rutgers and then for his final year of eligibility he went to Ohio State to compete for one of the four open starting jobs on the offensive line. He earned the left guard role, started 14 games and was named third-team Associated Press All-American and earned first-team All Big Ten honors.
“I went to Ohio State just looking for opportunity, just to be able to showcase my ability and pounce on another platform,” Jackson said. “I felt like it definitely helped me – wherever I was I felt like coaches would be able to find me. But being able to go to Ohio State and hang the banner up in that indoor facility for a Big Ten Championship and being able to get the ring and the gold pants – it was awesome.”
Jackson could fill a need on the Lions’ offensive line with the departure of Graham Glasgow. Last season Glasgow rotated at right guard with Kenny Wiggins and Joe Dahl.
Jackson was not at Ohio State when Lions left tackle Taylor Decker played there.
In the second round on Friday night, the Lions drafted running back D’Andre Swift (Georgia). With their first pick in the third round (67th overall) they selected edge rusher Julian Okwara whose brother, Romeo, is a defensive end for the Lions.