Next up for the 2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards is the category for Detroit Lions Rookie of the Year. Here are the nominees:
The Lions’ first-round draft picked met and exceeded expectations in 2016. Many were unsure whether Decker would replace Riley Reiff as the team’s left tackle, but not only did Decker successfully displace Reiff, but he played every single offensive snap at the position and thrived. Decker was the highest rated offensive lineman for the Lions in 2016 and his 82.3 rating ranked him 23rd among all offensive tackles, second to only one rookie—Michigan State's Jack Conklin.
Robinson, too, exceeded expectations in his first year in the NFL. Robinson wasn’t really expected to get much time as a starter, but as the season wore on, he started to replace Tyrunn Walker in the lineup, and finished the season with five starts. While that may not seem like a lot, Robinson had the second-most snaps at defensive tackle, finishing behind only Haloti Ngata.
Statistically, Robinson was the best defensive tackle on the team. He led all DTs in tackles (30), sacks (2.0) and passes defended (seven). He also led the entire team with five tackles for loss.
While we’re talking about exceeding expectations, no one accomplished that feat more than Glasgow. He wasn’t expected to contribute at all in his rookie season, but due to poor play at left guard and an injury to Travis Swanson, Glasgow finished his rookie year with 11 starts.
His play was up-and-down all year, but Pro Football Focus wasn’t a fan, rating him 37th out of 38 qualifying centers. Still, Glasgow proved his worth as a versatile lineman, and he performed better than anyone could have expected in his rookie year.