Three Detroit Lions Poised to Surprise in 2014

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SideLion Report takes a look at three role players who could end up being key contributors for the Detroit Lions in 2014.

Aug 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Cooper (88) against Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Tahir Whitehead – I’ll be honest.  I didn’t care for the Whitehead pick at all.  It’s nothing personal – I’m sure Tahir is an amicable young man.  But giving up a future fourth round pick to move up and take a linebacker who primarily rushed the passer off the edge as an OLB in a 3-4 made very little sense for a 4-3 team in need of help at linebacker.

However, when looking back at my scouting report, I noted that he possesses all the characteristics to be an effective sub-package option in blitz packages.  With the previous regime relying mostly on the four man rush and minimal blitz packages (second lowest in the NFL over the past two years), there wasn’t much need for a player with Whitehead’s skillset.  But with new DC Teryl Austin expecting to run a more balanced scheme and amp up the blitz packages, there could be an opportunity for Whitehead to make his mark on passing downs.

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