The Detroit Lions most surprising player is also their best

Detroit Lions (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Jamie Collins, Detroit Lions (Photo by Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
Jamie Collins, Detroit Lions (Photo by Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

Offseason acquisitions aren’t paying off in wins yet

The biggest indictment against the current regime of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia is that this team has no talent. I hear that all the time, yet it’s a little overblown.

The Lions do have some talented players, but if we examine this roster closely what we actually see is a lack of depth and play-makers. Both are a death sentence in the NFL.

The NFL is a violent world and players get injured. It’s just a fact of the territory. If you add in the circumstances of this season with all the Covid protocol, that just emphasizes the need for depth even more.

As for play-makers, well show me a championship team, regardless of the sport, without them. Even the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons who are heralded as the last team to win it all without a superstar was deep and quite frankly Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, and Chauncey Billups were among the best at their position in the league at that time.

In other words, those Pistons did have play-makers. Where are the play-makers on the Lions?

Kenny Golladay is fast becoming one of the best receivers in the league, but injuries have hindered his season and no player, no matter how good they are, helps you win when they’re in street clothes.

Bob Quinn may have had his best offseason so far, but it isn’t showing dividends in the form of wins.

Jamie Collins started a little slow but is now playing well. Nick Williams hasn’t produced as they hoped he would, and Danny Shelton has been steady but unspectacular.

Meanwhile, first-round pick Jeff Okudah has struggled so far. He has tremendous talent and should become an outstanding corner, but the growing pains early have been obvious. D’Andre Swift’s development has been slowed by the bulk of the carries being given to Adrian Peterson, Julian Okwara is on injured reserve as is Jashon Cornell, and guard Logan Stenberg has not been able to carve out any playing time yet.

However, sixth-round pick John Penisini has played better than expected and Jonah Jackson is quickly becoming a strength on the offensive line. Yet there is one other player that has outshined them all.