Posted Apr 30, 2011
With their final pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions went back to the offensive side of the ball, selecting offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath of South Carolina State University.
“We like his size, we like his athletic ability,” said Head Coach Jim Schwartz. “He’s a little bit of a developmental project, but he has the tools. He’s a guy that our coaches are very anxious to work with.”
Culbreath was a four-year starter at South Carolina State, winning multiple awards including Offensive Lineman of the Year for the MEAC Conference in 2009.
He originally committed to Florida State University, but couldn’t attend due to academics.
“Ended up going to South Carolina State due to grades and GPA and test scores,” said Culbreath. “I had a great career there. We were three-time MEAC Championships behind me and my great offensive linemen and great running back corps. I had a lot of great achievements there.”
Culbreath believes this situation played out for the better. He focused on being a quality all-around player – both athletically and academically – and ultimately achieved his goal of being drafted.
“At first it was a disappointment,” he said of not being able to attend Florida State.
“But I think it was a good step for me. It was a good road – a good path – because it was a real humbling experience for me.”
The Lions are looking forward to working with Culbreath, who stands 6-5, 323 pounds. He is a former wrestler, giving him balance and flexibility that adds to his skill set as an offensive lineman.
“He wasn’t at the combine, so we needed to bring him here to get a physical,” said Schwartz. “He ran really well and had a very, very good workout.
“Then you do a little more work and watch him on film and things like that and there was a lot to like about him.”
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