Two Detroit Lions make Pro Football Focus post-preseason breakouts list

Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images
Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images /

On Pro Football Focus’ post-preseason breakout candidates list, two Detroit Lions made the cut.

It’s easy, too easy even, to overreact to NFL preseason results. Fantasy football stars are made, and at times dismissed, based on a small sample. The Detroit Lions only won one of their three preseason games, but there were plenty of promising individual performances.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus made a list of 10 2022 breakout candidates after the preseason. There’s a mix of notable names (Tua Tagovailoa, Cole Kmet) and more under the radar names (at least for now).

Two Lions are on the list.

Two third-year Detroit Lions among PFF’s post-preseason breakout candidates

"G LOGAN STENBERG, DETROIT LIONSStenberg is yet another offensive lineman who may not even have a starting role but looks ready to fill one. He was the same bully this preseason that we saw at Kentucky a few years ago. He led all offensive linemen with four big-time blocks this preseason. Stenberg finished with an 80.1 overall grade on 167 snaps — all at left guard."

"CB JEFFREY OKUDAH, DETROIT LIONSIt’s been a while since we’ve seen the top-three pick at the top of his game. After one of the worst rookie seasons from a cornerback in recent memory, Okudah tore his Achilles in Week 1 last year. On 54 snaps in three preseason games this year, though, Okudah looked like the guy the Lions thought they were getting. He allowed only one first down on four targets and broke up a pass while guarding heralded Steelers rookie George Pickens. Okudah was physical at the line and in run support, as he made six tackles without a miss. This Lions defense will be a different animal in 2022."

Okudah and Stenberg are both entering their third season. Expectations are very different for each though.

Okudah needs to stay healthy and prove he was anywhere near worthy of the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft. A strong preseason was a good first step, and head coach Dan Campbell wasted no time to name him a starter after the preseason finale.

Stenberg was a long shot to make the roster after doing little in his first two seasons. But he forced himself into the conversation with strong performances in each of the last two preseason games, and the Lions ultimately kept nine offensive lineman on the initial 53-man roster. He’s not going to displace Jonah Jackson as the starting left guard, but he will be valuable depth and a potential trade chip.

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