5 players who are the most critical to Detroit Lions success in 2023

If the Detroit Lions are going to meet high expectations this season, these five players will be the most important to that success.
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Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions
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2. RT Penei Sewell

Sewell has immediately become one of the best right tackles in the NFL, and he's starting to get prominently noticed as such. At just 22 years old (he'll turn 23 during the coming season), the sky feels like the limit and last year was only the first of what will be many Pro Bowl selections in his career (hopefully spent entirely with the Lions).

Sewell was the non-quarterback selection for the Lions on the aformentioned "can't afford to lose" list from Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.

"An elite blocker in a 2022 breakout, Sewell is one of the biggest reasons Jared Goff was able to surprise skeptics with borderline top-10 production last year. His size and athleticism at right tackle are simply unteachable."

Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports

When left tackle Taylor Decker missed the early part of the 2021 season and Sewell shifted over to replace him, we saw how generally overmatched Matt Nelson was as a starting tackle. That would be lined up to happen again this year if Sewell were to go go down with an injury.

There would an obvious and clear drop-off from Sewell to anyone who would have to replace him if he were out, and he had a strong case for No. 1 on this list.