ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Lawrence Jackson thought he had everything going for him two years ago.
After a stellar career at USC, he had been drafted in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks and was looking forward to a successful career as an NFL pass rusher.
Now he's in Detroit, hoping that this time, it will work that way.
Jackson's unhappy tenure in Seattle came to an official end Thursday when he passed his Lions physical and participated in the team's afternoon workout. In exchange, the Lions sent a sixth-round draft pick to the Seahawks.
"It was very frustrating the way things went in Seattle," Jackson said. "Now I have a new opportunity and a chance at a fresh start."
Even though Jackson was a highly productive pass rusher for the Trojans, the Seahawks used him mainly to stop the run, a decision he never understood. In two years, despite playing every game, he managed just 6.5 sacks.
"I was brought into do one thing, and then they changed it to something else, and I've been trying to figure out why for two years," Jackson said. "People say that I haven't gotten many sacks, but the guys who get sacks in this league are the ones on the field on third down, not the ones being used to play the run on first and second down."
"They brought in a new defense, and suddenly I was stuck in the middle," Jackson said. "I was the only defensive lineman they had that was over 260 pounds and under 280, and I didn't fit in."
Meanwhile, the Lions have been struggling to find a starter at left defensive end, so they decided to give Jackson a shot.
"He didn't get his career off to the start he wanted, but sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for you," said Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who believes Jackson also can help at other defensive line positions. "You get into a situation that is different from your skill set, and it just doesn't work. That's what happened to Tony Scheffler in Denver, and look how productive he's been for us in camp."
Schwartz, though, stresses that he only cares about Jackson's performance in a Lions uniform, not his pedigree.
"Yes, he was a first-round pick because of his college performance, but that doesn't matter any more," Schwartz said. "And yes, he played four years at USC and they've got a pretty good stable of players, but that doesn't matter either. We need to find out if he can perform for us right now."
Notes: The Lions had a second new player on the field Thursday after claiming safety David Roach off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. Roach took the field midway through the morning workout. To make room for Roach, the Lions waived safety Marvin White. ... The banged-up Lions practiced twice Thursday, but spent most of the afternoon session in non-contract drills without helmets. ... Safety Louis Delmas sat out the morning session while continuing to rehabilitate a groin injury, but Schwartz isn't worried yet. "He can run around at full speed, but it is still hard for him to put two of those days together," the coach said. "We're sticking with our plan and taking things slowly."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press