The Detroit Lions will need on players to make a big leap this season. Here are some players on the current roster that can make major improvement in 2020.
In order for the Detroit Lions to bolster their roster for next season, they will need to make more improvements outside of the additions they will make in the draft and free agency. If players on the roster can make a big jump in development, it will surely help the Lions in short-term success, as well as long term team building.
There are a plethora of players to choose from that can make that jump. The question isn’t who will, but rather who is most likely too. Two candidates make strong cases, one on the offensive side of the ball and the another on defense.
Offense: Joe Dahl
Left guard Joe Dahl was a pleasant surprise on a Lions team that didn’t have too many highlights this season. Dahl isn’t getting the amount of love that he should. Someone who drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, is starting to look like a steal.
Initially, he was known to be a project, someone who would take time to become a starter in this league. The Lions staff did an excellent job developing Dahl, who finally became a starter this season. He ranked 13th amongst all left guards in the league and showed prowess in pass-blocking, allowing only three sacks in 14 games played.
Dahl’s improvement has been undocumented; only the Lions staff members have seen his growth every year. That’s why another significant growth in Dahl’s game is plausible. His pass-blocking is already at an above-average level, and he can complement his game by getting his run blocking on the same level.
Defense: Da’Shawn Hand
Defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand had a rookie year that left us wanting more. In his rookie campaign, he posted three sacks, two forced fumbles (along with a fumble recovery) and 27 tackles in 13 games played.
Hand was expected to be a massive part of the defense this season, but the injury bug struck him. He was only able to play three games scattered throughout the season. Although, one injury-plagued season shouldn’t scare away the Lions.
"“It’s just a good time to rebuild. Last season was what it was. I think just the excitement of what we can build next year is just going to be cool.”"
A disappointing season isn’t an understatement when it comes to Hand, but when he has played there is a lot to like about his game. With another off-season in his belt, along with a new defensive coordinator, there is a lot of confidence in the return of Da’Shawn Hand.
These two players make the most sense when discussing candidates for improvement. More importantly, upgrading the trenches is what this team could use the most. Keep close attention to Joe Dahl and Da’Shawn Hand as next season gets underway.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with our candidates? Who is most likely to make a big jump next season? Make sure to use the comment section below.