Which Detroit Lions rookie is the highest priority to produce?
In the case of the Detroit Lions, a team in need of as many impact players as possible, many rookies will have an opportunity to step up and make a difference. As a matter of fact, if the Lions are going to have success next season they will have to have multiple rookies step up.
Yet despite the stark facts of what needs to happen in order to give the Lions a chance to be competitive next season, not all contributions are equal. Many of those efforts will be invaluable, but if we boil it down to the brass taxes, some contributions will mean much more than others.
In the case of rookie guards Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg, their ability to step up and become key additions to the offensive line is incredibly important. It also won’t be easy as the line will have to work extra hard to build some cohesiveness without a full offseason.
The success of the offensive line will make a big difference but do either Jackson or Stenberg need to be the players that shine the most?
Jeff Okudah is expected to take up the mantle of Darius Slay and play competitively well on an island while learning his job on the run. For a defense that was so bad last season, any improvements are a big deal and huge in creating an opportunity for the Lions to be competitive.
Yet, even so, is Okudah the player who has to step up the most?
What about D’Andre Swift? The former Bulldog is incredibly talented and should make a world of difference to the Lions ground game. A rushing attack that has been comatose since Barry Sanders retired 20 years ago.
Swifts skill-set give him an opportunity to not only fill in for Kerryon Johnson should the talented third-year back suffer yet another injury, but perhaps take the reigns completely because of his outstanding abilities.
However, as talented as Swift is, he will still need help from the offensive line in order to completely display his talents. Therefore since he can only truly shine his brightest with some good blocking, is he the player who most needs to stand out?
All these rookies are a high priority to produce in order to give the Lions a chance to turn themselves around. But I propose there is one other rookie who needs to shine more than the reat in order to truly help ignite the Lions to be competitive.