How Former Utah DT John Penisini Fits In With Detroit Lions

May 20, 2020, 10:29 AM
(Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah defensive tackle John Penisini has a chance to prove himeself as a rookie for the Detroit Lions.

Penisini was taken by the Lions in the sixth round with the 197th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Lions play a 4-3 defensive scheme with two defensive tackles. According to Ourlads.com, Penisini is the third string left defensive tackle behind Danny Shelton and Olive Sagapolu.

He will wear No. 91 for the Lions.

Other Defensive Tackles On Roster

Danny Shelton joined the Lions as a free agent and signed a two-year deal with Detroit during the off-season. Olive Sagapolu is entering the final year of his contract with the Lions. He was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Green Bay Packers last season.

On the right side for defensive tackles, John Atkins will be in the final year of his contract with the Lions. Kevin Strong Jr. has two years remaining on his current deal. Nick Williams recently signed a deal with the Lions as a free agent which is a one year deal with an option for a second year.

The Lions did not re-sign Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson and allowed them to enter the free agent market.

Penisini was the only defensive tackle that the Lions selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Contract Details

Penisini recently signed his rookie contract with the Lions. According to Spotrac.com, Penisini will make $3,466,176 through the course of his rookie contract. His signing bonus is $171,176. His base salary this season will be $610,000 and will use $652,794 of the Lions’ cap this season.

The former Ute is the second Lions draft pick to come to a contract agreement. Fourth round pick in Offensive guard Logan Stenberg was the first to sign his contract. Penisini is the only Utah player that was drafted that has signed their rookie contract.


One thing that Penisini has done throughout his entire college career is work for everything that he has been given. It has led him to being drafted in the sixth round. You can bet that he will work his way up the depth chart.

Despite being projected as a third string defensive tackle, Penisini will work his way to the top. The contracts of the guys that are ahead of him will favor his future with the Lions because he will work for everything he has been given.

I think that Penisini will be a second string defensive tackle who is receiving meaningful reps in the NFL by his second season in 2021.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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