Will these 3 Lions become first-time Pro Bowlers in 2021?
The Detroit Lions are heading in an exciting new direction after kicking off a near-complete rebuild this offseason. That includes the hiring of a new general manager in Brad Holmes, a new head coach in Dan Campbell, and a trade resulting in a new quarterback under center in Jared Goff.
In the midst of an incomplete rebuild, the Lions aren’t expected to be very competitive in 2021. Yet, there will still be opportunities for players to earn their first Pro Bowl nod this upcoming season. Here are our choices for the top three candidates …
Romeo Okwara, DE
After registering 10.0 sacks last season, defensive end Romeo Okwara earned himself a healthy three-year, $39 million contract extension from the Lions earlier this year. With his future secure, the 26-year old pass rusher must now prove he can replicate that double-digit sack success under a new regime in Detroit. If he does, expect Okwara to be in the running to get his first Pro Bowl nod this upcoming season.
Penei Sewell, OT
As the seventh overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell has a lot of hype to live up to. And if the draftniks are right about his talent, Sewell could earn a Pro Bowl nod as a rookie. In fact, NFL.com’s Marc Sessler recently made the 20-year old lineman his choice as a potential first-time Pro Bowler from the Lions’ current roster.
D’Andre Swift, RB
There are so many talented running backs in the NFC, it will be difficult for D’Andre Swift to break that Pro Bowl ceiling without having an absolutely phenomenal season. But this choice is more about opportunity. Swift figures to be a security blanket for new quarterback Jared Goff both in the running game and as a quality receiver out of the backfield.
With so many concerns surrounding the Detroit Lions’ wide receiver corps, which experienced a massive talent exodus this offseason, players like Swift and tight end T.J. Hockenson figure to have an increased role. That increase should allow both to put up Pro Bowl-worthy numbers in 2021.