Which Detroit Lions could have the biggest breakout season?
By Robert Jones
On defense I think the breakout possibilities are broader. There are many players that could be the breakout player and just as many good reasons why they could. As a matter of fact, I would say there are several ‘right answers’ on the Lions defense, but I will once again narrow it down to one player.
One possible player that I think could have a very big year is Jarrad Davis. After struggling in his rookie year, he made some nice strides while learning Matt Patricia’s complex defense last season. He also proved himself to be very adept on the blitz and will probably get even more opportunities this coming season.
Yet once again, that is an easy pick. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying it’s easy and I want to look further.
I think Justin Coleman could have a huge year, possibly even on the outside if Darius Slay decides to hold out, but he’s already considered the best slot corner in the league. Rashaan Melvin is back in a scheme that is perfect for him and should have a nice bounce-back season, but I think there may be a better choice.
Perhaps the hardest for me to bypass is Da’Shawn Hand. After an outstanding rookie campaign, he is definitely in line for a big season and anyone who picks him as their ‘breakout’ man, I absolutely say I think your right. This young man seems destined to be a monster and probably should be my pick considering how important I think the defensive line is and how good I think he can and will be, but there is one other who I will go with as my Lions defensive breakout player of 2019; safety Tracy Walker.
Last season in limited opportunities Walker showed all of us why Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia surprised the world by selecting him in the third round of the 2018 draft. His tremendous athleticism, focus, willingness to work and ability to carry out his assignments make him a big-time candidate to have a very big jump in his second season.
When we add to the list that Lions again drafted a talented safety in the third round of this years draft, that adds motivation for Walker to be pushed to greater heights.
So there you have it. Frank Ragnow and Tracy Walker are my picks for the Lions offensive and defensive breakout players, respectively, of 2019. Who are yours?