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Friday open thread: Which Lions player takes the biggest step in 2022?

There are plenty of players poised to breakout in 2022. Who takes the biggest step?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a few years make for the Detroit Lions. General manager Brad Holmes has done his best to flip this roster, and he’s done it in a relatively short time.

When he took over in January of 2021, there was no shortage of work to be done. The previous regime handed out several contracts that were eating up big chunks of the salary cap, and the roster needed a major infusion of young talent. It certainly wasn’t a situation ready-made for winning, which is why the slate needed to be (mostly) wiped clean.

Fast-forward a year and some change later, and things are looking up. It’s still a work in progress, but Holmes and coach Dan Campbell have to be pleased with the progress they have made thus far in the rebuild.

Their inaugural draft class has already paid big dividends, with players like wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and offensive tackle Penei Sewell looking to build on their impressive rookie campaigns. If he can stay on the field, third-year running back D’Andre Swift has a chance to make some noise behind a promising offensive line.

On the other side of the ball, take your pick. Cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs are both looking to bounce back from injuries, while defensive tackles Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike need to improve upon their up-and-down rookie seasons. The game appeared to be moving at a frenetic pace for linebacker Derrick Barnes in 2021, but maybe things begin to slow down for him in 2022?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Who takes the biggest step in 2022?

My answer: This was a difficult choice, which speaks to the job this regime has done with adding young talent—but I have to go with Penei Sewell here. He had himself a great rookie season, despite being asked to switch back and forth between left and right tackle. And he will still only be 21 years old when his second NFL season begins in September.

Sewell possesses incredible physical gifts, and can do things athletically that a lot of tackles can’t begin to contemplate. But he is also a technician, and we began to see him figuring things out as last season progressed. With another offseason with offensive line coach Hank Fraley, Sewell’s game could take off in year two.

What do you all think? Let us know in the comments.


Who takes the biggest step in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Penei Sewell
    (173 votes)
  • 4%
    Amon-Ra St. Brown
    (52 votes)
  • 31%
    Levi Onwuzurike
    (377 votes)
  • 4%
    Alim McNeill
    (54 votes)
  • 13%
    Derrick Barnes
    (158 votes)
  • 23%
    Jeff Okudah
    (282 votes)
  • 0%
    Jerry Jacobs
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    D’Andre Swift
    (74 votes)
  • 3%
    (38 votes)
1214 votes total Vote Now

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