Which Detroit Lions draft choice will be the most productive?
By Robert Jones
Multiple possibilities could bode well for the Lions
There are two other players who have a chance to be productive and give Penei Sewell a run for his money as the Lions’ most productive rookie.
Perhaps the most obvious answer is wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
The Lions receivers are in a state of flux. Breshad Perriman has the ability to be a very productive receiver but has not been consistent so far in his career. Tyrell Williams has proven to be able to make plays, but he has also been injured quite a bit.
This does open the door for St. Brown to have opportunities in the Lions passing game. The youngster does run crisp routes and in general, has good hands. St. Brown will need to be more consistent in his concentration, but if he is he could be very productive.
However, tight end T.J. Hockenson and D’andre Swift out of the backfield will most likely be staples of the Detroit aerial assault. Especially early in the season. They will help create opportunities for St. Brown, but the former Trojan will need to win over Jared Goff’s trust.
St. Brown could be quite productive, but my early favorite to challenge Sewell as the most productive member of the Lions 2021 draft class is defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike.
For those who remember the Barry Sanders days back in the 1990s, there was an in-division player who Onwuzurike reminds me of; John Randle.
Randle was a very quick defensive tackle whose motor never stopped as well as his mouth. He lined up on Minnesota’s defensive line and wreaked havoc on opponents. Especially the Detroit Lions. Today Randle is in the Hall of Fame.
I’m not saying that Onwuzurike will hit the NFL playing like Randle or that he will ever reach the level that Randle did. But his ability to penetrate gaps and create plays in opposing backfields could make him a noticeably productive player at a position of need.
Along with Alim McNeill and veterans Romeo Okwara, Trey Flowers, Michael Brockers, Da’Shawn Hand, and young Julian Okwara, it could create opportunities for Onwuzurike to make some noise in opposing backfields.
Probably the biggest thing we should take out of this debate is the fact that the Lions do have a few possibilities in this draft class to be productive. If by the end of next season there is a heated debate about who was the most productive, then that bodes all the better for the Lions rebuild.