Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye is certainly a rising star, but could he make the leap all the way to the Pro Bowl in 2022?
Without Amani Oruwariye, we should shudder at the thought of how bad the Detroit Lions secondary would have been in 2021. He had six of the team’s 11 interceptions, only one other cornerback intercepted a pass (AJ Parker) and some other numbers were bad even with him for 14 games.
Oruwariye is the only Lions’ cornerback whose role is secure heading toward the 2022 season, and a multi-year deal to keep him in Detroit has to be coming if the team knows what’s good for it. He is a No. 1 corner, and you don’t let those get away easily.
Oruwariye has gotten a little bit of notice across the league, and if the Lions starting winning more games his profile will rise in concert. But could he make a big leap in 2022?
Could Amani Oruwariye make his first Pro Bowl in 2022?
Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum, writing for The 33rd Team, has a list of five players who will make their first Pro Bowl in 2022. Fourth on the list was Oruwariye.
Here’s some of what Tannenbaum wrote.
"Oruwariye was their de-facto CB1 last season in which he fared well. He allowed only 2 TDs and snagged 6 INTs in the process of allowing 1.1 yards per coverage snap….he allowed only .1 more yards per coverage snap than Jalen Ramsey while bringing in 2 more INTs and allowing 1 less TD. Comparing this to 2021 Pro Bowl invite, Trevon Diggs, who emerged with his playmaking ability, he allowed over 500 less receiving yards, and .52 yards per coverage snap. If he can continue his playmaking ability from last year and can cut down on allowing the big plays, from last year (18 receptions of 15+ yards, the 6th most amongst CBs with 300+ coverage snaps), he has a chance to make a Pro Bowl."
Seeing the volume of big plays (15-plus yards) Oruwariye allowed last year was a little eye-opening. But that he compared favorably to Jalen Ramsey and Trevon Diggs in 2021 is meaningful, in a good way of course.
A better Lions’ pass rush this year, and it naturally will be better, will help Oruwariye and the entire secondary be better.
Last year was easy to consider a breakout for Oruwariye. But if he can allow fewer big plays and get even more (and easier) opportunities to get his hands on stray throws this year, a leap to Pro Bowl consideration is definitely in play.