4 underrated Detroit Lions players who could make a massive impact next season

As the Detroit Lions look to take the final step to a Super Bowl next season, these underrated players could make a big impact.

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The Detroit Lions delivered on their preseason hype in 2023, winning the NFC North, winning a couple playoff games and having a big halftime lead in the NFC Championship Game. Of course we know how the rest of the conference title game went. It has left an "unfinished business" taste in the mouths of players and coaches looking toward the 2024 season.

If the Lions are going to take the next step to the Super Bowl next season, or maybe even win it if they get there, it will be largely on the strength of the players who are easily-named performing as expected.

But success is not had, and championships are not won, without contributions from those who aren't stars or broadly expected to be big contributors making a difference. It may be a single crucial moment, a stretch of games, or even the whole season, where these kind of unheralded players step up and make an impact.

With that in mind, these four underrated Lions' players could make a big impact next season.

4 underrated Detroit Lions who could make a massive impact next season

4. S Ifeatu Melifonwu

With a lingering hand injury finally behind him, Melifonwu fully stepped into the starting lineup for the Lions in Week 14 last season. To say he delivered would be an understatement.

He was solid all the way around, but he was a particular weapon as a blitzer over that stretch (five sacks, including the playoffs). He was Pro Football Focus' seventh-highest graded safety in the league from Week 14 through the Divisional Round of the playoffs (80.3 overall), which made him easy for PFF to tab as their early breakout candidate for the Lions in 2024.

Injuries have been the big storyline for Melifonwu through his first three seasons, along with a position switch. He has to prove he can do what he did late last season over a full and healthy season, but the opportunity will be there as long as he can stay on the field. A full-fledged breakout is not out of the question.

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