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Friday open thread: Which second-year Lions player has the most to prove in training camp?

Dan Campbell has already talked about players needing to step up in 2022. Who has the most to prove during camp?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

At first glance, the 2022 Detroit Lions are going to look really young on paper.

Veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers is the only player currently on the roster that is over the age of 30, and at many vital positions, the Lions are among the youngest in the league.

However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when they currently are in their rebuild. General manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell appear to be fully invested in their young players, giving them plenty of reps — both in practice and in games. Now, after gaining valuable experience last season, the 2021 rookie class is poised to take the next step in their development.

“I mean, we’re counting on it,” Campbell said to the media this week. ”We got to have it. I mean if they don’t make a jump, we’re in trouble. That’s the bottom line, cause those guys are kind of our core and our foundation.”

Right tackle Penei Sewell should benefit from a (hopefully) full year at the position, and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown will be looking to build on a fantastic second half of 2021. Defensive tackle Alim McNeill is a popular “breakout player” candidate around the league, but beyond that — the Lions will need more from their rookie class.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Which player from the Lions’ 2021 draft class has the most to prove during training camp?

My answer: I think the answer almost has to be defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike. After a very up-and-down rookie year, the former second round pick out of the University of Washington has to be more reliable in year two.

Coming out of college, Onwuzurike was lauded for his explosive first step, and powerful hands. But he dealt with a lingering back injury for the majority of the 2021 season, and was never really able to find his footing.

Now playing in a defensive scheme more predicated on attacking and eliminating gaps, Onwuzurike should be put in better positions to succeed this year.

What about you? Which second year player has the most to prove in training camp? Let us know in the comments.

Poll

Which player from the Lions’ 2021 draft class has the most to prove during training camp?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Penei Sewell
    (11 votes)
  • 54%
    Levi Onwuzurike
    (520 votes)
  • 1%
    Alim McNeill
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    CB Ifeatu Melifonwu
    (48 votes)
  • 1%
    Amon-Ra St. Brown
    (11 votes)
  • 34%
    Derrick Barnes
    (330 votes)
  • 2%
    Jermar Jefferson
    (22 votes)
960 votes total Vote Now