4. DE Romeo Okwara
A torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2021 season derailed the last two seasons for Okwara. Rather than risk being cut this offseason, entering the final year of the three-year deal he got coming off a 10-sack season in 2020, he took a massive pay cut to stay in Detroit.
Late last season, James Houston became a force off the edge for the Lions. He is not going away this year, as he's obviously lined up for a full season and more snaps. Fellow second-year man Josh Paschal also should be forgotten.
Okwara, as expected he would, said he feels healthy, and maybe ever better than he felt in 2020. As he competes for playing time, and proves himself worthy of being on the field, he best recapture at least some of that pre-injury form.
3. DE Charles Harris
Harris' NFL career was on the ropes when he signed with the Lions in 2021, and he played like it when he led the team with 7.5 sacks. Last season was set off course by a groin injury that eventually ended his season, but he was not all that good for the few games he was fully healthy.
Like Okwara, but to a far lesser extent, Harris took a pay cut this offseason to stay with the Lions. In the same battle for snaps in the Lions' edge rusher mix, he has to prove 2021 was not a complete fluke. Right now it looks like that season was driven by his career being all but over if he didn't perform, and being on a three-win team.