While expectations are high for the free agent signing of defensive end Trey Flowers, the Detroit Lions’ other edge defender, Devon Kennard, shouldn’t be forgotten. A year ago, Kennard was the Lions big splash in free agency, as the Lions handed him a three-year, $17.25 million to be a key part of their new defensive corps.
His first year in Detroit was a modest one. In 15 games, Kennard tallied 46 tackles, 7.0 sacks and a fumble recovery. Kennard didn’t get much help from the rest of the defensive line—especially early in the year—and as a result, he wasn’t creating much pressure on his own. Pro Football Focus credited him with just 36 pressures all year, good for 47th among all NFL edge defenders.
But Kennard is hoping to make a big jump in his second year in Detroit. With a year of experience under Matt Patricia and an improved supporting cast, Kennard is already putting in the homework to be the impact player the Lions were hoping to find when they signed him last year. According to his own Twitter, he’s been studying some of his favorite pass rushers to hone in his technique:
Been spending offseason studying some of my favorite rushers from last year ... TJ Watt, Mark Ingram, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, Demarcus Lawrence, Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones, Danielle Hunter, Bradley Chubb, Von Miller. Rushing really is an ART!— DK (@DevonKennard) April 2, 2019
(Note: He later clarified he mean Melvin Ingram, not Mark Ingram.)
That’s a good sign for the 27-year-old defender who should be entering the prime of his career. We’ll see if the hard work pays off this September.
- Lions Wire’s Erik Schlitt kicked off his excellent QIB Qualifiers series with NFL Draft prospects at both tight end and running back.
- Congratulations to new Lions running back C.J. Anderson for the birth of his daughter Keilani:
4-3-19 Keilani Ja’Von Anderson!!! Is here— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) April 3, 2019
- The Detroit News just dropped their latest Lions mock, and it kicks off with a trade for the No. 1 overall pick. (Warning: Slideshow)
- Plenty of people within the Lions community reached out the Kelly Stafford after her announcement on Wednesday that she’ll be undergoing surgery for a brain tumor. Here’s just a few:
Kelly, I can promise you will have no shortage of prayers. From our family to yours, you're in our thoughts. Wishing you all the strength you'll need for a full and fast recovery. https://t.co/LdBPEfqRys— Dan Miller (@DanMillerFox2) April 3, 2019
- Too early for power rankings? Obviously. But ESPN took a crack at it and the Lions came in at just 23rd.
- Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit appears to be a big fan of the Trey Flowers signing: