Former Cougar football offensive line standout Joe Dahl became WSU's highest draft pick of 2016 when the Detroit Lions made him the 12th pick of the fifth round.
There is no question that the Lions are getting a very solid player in Dahl. He is smart, athletic and tough. Dahl is versatile enough to play guard or tackle at the next level, and it is probably that Lions will install him inside. Dahl was a solid guard in 2013, then got even better when he moved out to tackle.
More than one scouting report has compared Dahl to David Bakhtiari. Bakhtiari was a fourth round pick by the Packers in 2013, and has become a solid starter since then. If you'd like to see a bevy of scouting reports on Dahl, we have that here. Pro Football Focus rated Dahl as the 112th-best prospect in the draft, but as the best pass protector.
Joe Dahl graded out No. 1 in pass-protection amongst 2015 tackles, 36 spots better than Detroit's 1st-round pick, Taylor Decker. #LionsDraft— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 30, 2016
Among the people who do this for a living, Dahl has positives such as strong hands, quick feet and outstanding technique. His perceived shortfalls are less-than-ideal arm length, tendency to get bull-rushed and no experience playing in a traditional three-point stance.
"I really like this young man as an athlete," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said shortly after the pick. "And I think he'll compete, you just don't really know how he's going to react to a pro style run game."
In an interesting little twist, the announcement of Dahl as Detroit's pick was made by WSU great Jason Hanson, the Lions' long time kicker who retired a couple of years ago.
I have no doubt that Dahl is about to make the Lions very happy that other teams passed on Dahl. Congratulations, Joe. We'll miss you in Pullman.