It’s the offseason and we’re already well into prediction season. We’ve already discussed who we think will lead the Detroit Lions in touchdowns next season. We’ve debated expectations for guys like Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay. We’ve made our best guesses as to who will win out position battles like tight end.
But we haven’t talked all that much about the defense. Granted, it’s hard to make many predictions right now knowing so little about what the Lions plan on doing on that side of the ball, but if you think about it, we know very little about this team in all aspects. So why not make more predictions?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which two players are going to lead the Lions in sacks this year?
My answer: I had to say two players here, because one answer is obvious: Ezekiel Ansah. Despite all of his injuries over the past few seasons, Ansah has led the team in sacks three times in his five-year career. Assuming he can make it through the season playing the majority of the games, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t lead the team in sacks.
The more interesting question is who will come in second. My answer is linebacker Devon Kennard. As we noted in our three things we learned from Week 2 of OTAs, the Lions appear to be readying their linebackers to be much more aggressive in 2018. And if the Patriots’ 2017 season was any sign, you should get ready for more sacks coming from the linebacking corps.
Last season, the Patriots finished tied for the seventh most sacks in the league. 14.5 of their 42 total sacks came from the linebacking corps. The Lions, on the other hand, only had 3.5 (of 35) sacks from their linebackers in 2017.
We’ve already seen Kennard line up at practice as an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid, so expect to see him rush the passer often. My guess is that he’ll get close to 10.0 sacks this year.