Ash Thompson Breaks Down Each Player On The Detroit Lions’ 90 Man Roster.
Armonty Bryant started his collegiate career at Abeline Christian. He did not play during that season, and dropped down to the Junior College level for a year and ended up playing in Division II East Central University. He took advantage of the opportunity and notched 54 tackles, 17.5 for loss, and four forced fumbles as a Senior.
On his career, he set the school record for sacks with 27.5 in his two seasons at ECU. As a senior, he also blocked three kicks. Bryant was a two-time Oklahoman State Defensive Player of the Year selection and a Division II All-American. He was invited to the NFL Combine after his senior season. He was on the fast track to being the Tarrell Basham of his draft year.
Armonty Bryant’s Professional Career
“Good people make mistakes….” Bryant said in a post-draft conference call “Now that I’ve got that second chance, I feel like I won’t let anyone down.” Bryant was referencing his conviction for selling $20 worth of marijuana repeatedly to an undercover police officer. Bryant had slipped to the seventh round of the 2013 draft because of the conviction in 2012. Six days after that call Bryant was arrested for drunk driving. He received no signing bonus from the Browns as punishment for the infraction. He played out of position for the first two years of his career as a 3-4 defensive end.
In 2015 the Browns moved him to his more natural edge-rushing position as an outside linebacker. He responded with a 5.5 sack season as a situational pass rusher. His career looked like it was on the way up, as Bryant was about to become a restricted free agent.
Christmas day 2015, however, Bryant was arrested for possession of Adderall. Later he was suspended for four games having violated the league’s PED policy. Bryant faced additional discipline from the league for the conviction, which turned out to be a misdemeanor drug charge. Cleveland waived their troubled but talented pass rusher on October 3, 2016. The Lions took the plunge and claimed Bryant off waivers despite the impending suspension.
Armonty Bryant with the Lions
In 2016 Bryant recorded three sacks in five games as a situational pass rusher. He ended the year on injured reserve with a knee injury. He signed a veteran minimum contract with the Lions, for a single year.
Bryant is only 27 years old and has flashed potential when able to get on the field. The problem is that for one reason or another Bryant has missed 28 of a possible 64 games in his career. It would be foolhardy for the Lions to rely on Bryant at this point. If he can hold himself together for an entire season he has the opportunity to do great things in Detroit, but there is no evidence that he can.
The Lions had the least productive pass rushers in recent memory on their defensive line last season. Kerry Hyder led the team with a paltry eight sacks. The return of Ziggy Ansah to full form, the addition of Cornelius Washington, and the retention of Armonty Bryant are the moves that the Lions hope will change that. Bryant is likely to have a positive impact, for however long he can stay on the field.