We rarely talk about the Detroit Lions as a team that gets too much credit. Sure there are a handful of national pundits every year who seems to get caught up in some Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid, only to see their bold prediction backfire.
That said, there are certainly more supporters locally who either consistently predict positive outcomes for the Lions or overhype a player or two when it may not be quite as deserved.
Today, we’re going to focus on that latter part. Nationally speaking, there aren’t a lot of Lions players who are given a ton of credit or deemed great players. But there are certainly local fans who believe there are certain players who should be getting more credit than they currently are. Just head over to our post on the latest Madden 23 ratings for a few examples of that.
But are there some players who Lions fans are overrating a bit? Today’s Question of the Day is:
Who is the Lions’ most overrated player?
My answer: There are a few players that jump to mind. T.J. Hockenson is one of the few players who is considered top at his position nationally. He even received the fifth-highest Madden rating among NFL tight ends. I do think Hockenson is a unique receiving talent and within the top 10 tight ends in the league, but he still has a long ways to go to prove he’s a more balanced tight end and a true game-changing weapon.
On the defensive side of the ball, I will admit Amani Oruwariye took some huge strides towards the back half of the season, but I think some fans locally are overvaluing his 2021 season due to the high number of interceptions. I have seen some even suggest he was a Pro Bowl snub last year. As defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant explained back during OTAs, Oruwariye went from getting right-place, right-time interceptions to actually forcing turnovers.
“There’s a difference between putting yourself in a good position to make the play, and actually taking the ball away from the offense,” Pleasant explained. “And that’s the one thing that, as the year progressed, he got better at.”
If you look at Oruwariye’s full season, though, he only managed a 59.0 PFF grade (60.3 coverage grade). That said, with as strong as he finished the season—PFF grade of 64.9 or higher in five of his last six starts—there is certainly reason for optimism that he has turned a career corner.