With a ton of new faces and young players, the Lions have multiple players looking for a breakout year.
Here are the Lions we see having the largest improvement.
Goff is no stranger to on-field production. The 27-year-old QB has had multiple seasons with over 4,000 yards passing and around 30 touchdowns. Of course, this was with the LA Rams, who surrounded him with talent such as Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Unfortunately, Goff fell off significantly in 2021. While in Detroit, he threw for 3,200 yards and 19 touchdowns, far from his full potential. In year two he will be more comfortable in the Detroit offense and will have a few more weapons to work with. Bringing in players like DJ Chark from Jacksonville will allow for Goff to spread the ball around more, especially with Amon-Ra St. Brown in the slot. When Jameson Williams, a Lions first round pick in 2022, returns from injury, there will be even more options for Goff. Finding his go to guy will be important, but reliable weapons paired with a top-ten offensive line has Goff poised for a return to glory.
The Lions third round pick in 2021 had a strong finish to his rookie year. With 39 tackles and 2 sacks, he provided a stable threat within the Lions defensive interior. His run-stuffing playstyle created an issue for o-lines in the latter-half of the season. Drawing double teams consistently, we see McNeill turning into a Ndamukong Suh type player, creating more opportunities for his edge rushers. With more depth at edge in Aidan Hutchinson, Romeo Okwara, and Charles Harris, McNeill will be able to find more one-on-one matchups within the rushing game as well. To us, this is a sure sign his numbers will increase. He only managed 5 hurries and 8 pressures last year, but this is sure to improve with the added depth.
The safety position was a huge need for the Lions coming into 2022. Adding Deshon Elliot in free agency and Kerby Joseph in the draft, was the Lions solution. Many expect Elliot to have the larger impact, but we have our eyes on Joseph. The third round selection out of Illinois has the perfect build for a ball-hawking safety at 6’1″ 203lbs. The Lions needed to add a player with versatility in the safety core, and Joseph is just that. Flying around the field, Joseph is able to in the two-high safety system and in the box. Joseph is still new to the position, so I think he will need time to adjust, but the experience brought by veteran Tracy Walker III will surely speed up Josephs’ development time. We expect Joseph to breakout towards the end of the season with his turnover creation being his core strength.
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