It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions have struggled to get to the quarterback in recent years. Former head coach Matt Patricia had a philosophy that great coverage can lead to sacks, but executing on this philosophy was a constant struggle. The Lions totaled just 24 sacks in all of 2020, good for 24th in the league, and edge rusher Romeo Okwara had nearly half of them.
Enter in a new era of the Lions’ front office and it at least feels like the current staff wants to place more emphasis on rushing the passer, which is refreshing. After re-signing Okwara, drafting two defensive tackles with their first three picks, and trading for Michael Brockers, it certainly feels like they’re taking the steps to ensure that they should be better in this area than last year on paper. Let’s hope it works out.
Today’s Question of the Day is...
Who will lead the Lions in sacks in 2021?
My answer: Romeo Okwara.
The Lions don’t exactly have star power on the D-line, so they’re going to have to get pressure from a lot of different guys if they want to make a real impact. Flowers and Brockers have never been high sack total guys, but they can push the pocket and create pressure for others.
Adding rookie DTs Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill should greatly help their pass rush, but I don’t expect them to get enough reps to challenge someone like Okwara for the most pressures or sacks. If Da’Shawn Hand can stay healthy, then I think he can have a huge impact as well, but I don’t see him suddenly doubling his career-high in sacks.
The easy and safe bet here is Okwara, who had 10 sacks last year and nearly triple the amount of total pressures as the next highest player on the team.
It’s entirely possible that the Lions don’t have a player that surpasses double digits in sacks this year and that’s fine. They just need more help from players not named Romeo Okwara.