It happens every year. A player everyone assumed was done for exceeds expectations. For example, in 2017, everyone thought TJ Jones was never going to grow into a passable No. 4 receiver. Then he surprised everyone and caught 30 balls for nearly 400 yards. Of course, just as soon as his career blossomed, he fell down to earth in 2018 and now finds himself looking for his next team.
Still, the points stands. There is very likely at least one person on the Lions roster who will surprise and exceed expectations for the 2019 season.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player is most likely to have a bounce-back year?
My answer: Maybe it’s not fair to call it a bounce-back year, but I think there’s a good chance that Devon Kennard bounces back after a rough second half to the season.
Kennard started the season hot, tallying 5.0 sacks in his first five games. However, he only had two in the final 11 and just seemed to be a lesser factor in the team’s defense.
But with a full offseason to prepare and learn Matt Patricia’s defense, along with an even better cast of defenders around him, Kennard should be better in 2019. He may not be used a ton as a pass rusher, as it’s not exactly his specialty. In fact, it’s quite possible he becomes more of a role player, as Detroit slowly work a guy like Jahlani Tavai into the lineup.
Still, I think with a more defined, limited role Kennard should be a good player on this defense at the level he was when he first arrives.