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Thursday open thread: What player are you most interested to track this offseason?

Who will you keep an eye on this offseason?

USC v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Despite team facilities still being closed, the Detroit Lions began their virtual offseason this week. It’s standard procedure for rookies to be excluded from the initial offseason program, but this year could be different altogether.

The league still hasn’t announced any plans for rookie minicamps. These usually take place a few weeks after the draft, but given the current circumstances, it’s unknown what the overall offseason will look like for rookies this year.

There’s no timetable for when we will actually see new players in an actual Lions uniform, but that brings us to today’s question:

What player are you most interested to track this offseason?

My answer: Julian Okwara

It might be a little odd to choose a third-round pick coming off an injury, but I love the storyline between Julian and his brother, Romeo. I’m intrigued to see how much his relationship with his brother, who is already on the team, speeds up his development compared to other rookies.

More than anything, though, the Lions will need Okwara to play a solid role on defense in 2020.

The good news for Lions fans is that he should be well suited to help out according to his former coach, Brian Kelly.

“He’s a strong player,” Kelly said. “ If you want somebody that can bull rush, he can bull rush. He’s not just a guy that’s going to rush off the end. So if a tackle is sitting really back and trying to play the speed rush, Julian can take that tackle and drive him back.”

I’m not sure when, or if, we’ll see rookies this offseason, but Okwara is definitely a guy I will be keeping my eyes on throughout the summer and into the fall.

Your turn.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.