Detroit Lions: Handing out 6 early individual season awards

Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Lions, T.J. Hockenson
Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Most Improved Player: T.J. Hockenson

Even though there might be an endless discussion on tight end T.J. Hockenson‘s draft position, it’s hard not to be optimistic towards his future. Hockenson is on pace to break the Lions’ franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end.

He ranks third in receptions and yardage, also tied fourth in receiving touchdowns out of all tight ends. A lot of his future success will be determine by Detroit’s future head coach, despite that, this season was a huge win for Hockenson.

He still has ways to go before reaching the levels of tight ends like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle. However, there is no doubt that he could be mentioned among those players in the future.

Biggest Disappointment: Jahlani Tavai

I could’ve written a separate article on this award. There were a few factors in my choice, I didn’t want to select someone who was dealing with injuries. Also, I tried to stay away from anyone who struggled due to a position change brought on by the coaching staff.

That led me to pick linebacker Jahlani Tavai. When you see regression from year one to year two, it’s scary. Especially in Tavai’s case. Yes, he might be limited athletically, but he had a rookie season that led us to believe he could become a solid starter.

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Add that with the fact he holds the defensive down like a paper weight. Tavai was the lowest graded starter on the team and it doesn’t look like he’s going to make a regime change. However, I’m rooting for him and hope things pan out.