Our predictions series continues with a look at who will be the Detroit Lions' breakout player on defense in 2012. Like on offense, there is a popular pick that should surprise nobody given all of the offseason hype that was directed his way. Also like offense, though, there isn't a consensus among Pride Of Detroit's writers. Take a look:
simscity: DE Willie Young
Another no-brainer. The guy has been secretly one of the best defensive ends on the roster for a couple years now. With Kyle Vanden Bosch aging, expect Young to see a lot more snaps this year and make the most of them. Also, remember this?
Packey: DE Willie Young
If the Lions decide against paying Cliff Avril his well-earned money after this season, I tend to think it will because Young broke out and they can better afford to let Avril walk.
Sean Yuille: DE Willie Young
Willie Young has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and he should be featured a lot more in the rotation on the defensive line this year. I don't necessarily expect him to put up Cliff Avril-like numbers, but he may come pretty close in 2012.
TuffLynx: CB Bill Bentley
The Lions need several defensive players to have outstanding seasons. I think Willie Young has a good chance of making a big impact this year, but he is going to be in a deep rotation on the defensive line. The Lions need somebody in the secondary to step up and become a stud, so I am predicting Bill Bentley to be the breakout defensive player for the Lions in 2012.