5 most underappreciated Detroit Lions heading into the 2024 season

The Detroit Lions have gained prominence as a team on a national scale, but these five players remain underappreciated heading into the 2024 season.
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After winning eight of their final 10 games in 2022, the Detroit Lions became national darlings with plenty of hype going into last season. They paid off that hype with few hiccups, winning a division title and two playoff games on their way to the NFC Championship Game.

Still, on a national scale, many Lions' players aren't yet all that well-known or they may just be simply overlooked. Sustained success, which they seem lined up to have, stands to change that over time. Headlines were made with big contract extensions this offseason for players who are generally well-known (Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell), and former No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson is pretty well-known too.

Beyond those guys, these Lions players are particularly underappreciated by the national masses.

The 5 most underappreciated Detroit Lions heading into the 2024 season

5. DB Brian Branch

Branch had an excellent rookie season, fairly quickly settling in as the Lions' slot corner and being an all-around force in the role. There's buzz he'll see more time at safety this year, and the additions that were made at cornerback has opened the door to that.

In talking about the most underappreciated player for each team in the NFC North in a feature for The 33rd Team, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus named Branch as his guy for the Lions.

"I think Brian Branch is an absolutely underappreciated player. Safety, slot corner, do-it-all at Alabama in college. I think if he ran a faster 40 time, we would be talking about this guy as a top-10 prospect, top-10 player, coming into the NFL. Hit the ground running, the Lions said 'you are our slot corner', he goes out there and absolutely dominates in Year 1, exactly the way he did in college. This guy is a superstar player, and doesn't get the recognition he should for being exactly that."