5. Jared Goff, QB
It is safe to say Jared Goff had an underwhelming 2021 campaign with The Detroit Lions. Throughout the season we saw a lot of inconsistencies, missed throws, and bad decisions, but I would argue that at some points this season we saw the MVP caliber Jared Goff. People will disagree with this statement but Jared Goff can be the Lions future quarterback, and with this being his big year to show it off he needs to perform as Gm Brad Holmes will certainly be looking at the QB’s in this draft very closely. But the breakout season for Jared Goff could happen this year. Brad Holmes did a great job over the offseason making sure The Lions have unlimited weapons for Goff to prove his worth, and with the strength of that offensive line they have set Goff up for success. The Wide Receiver room looks incredible to say the least and adding DJ Chark, and Jameson Williams certainly helped this cause. The Lions offense can be great this year but it all circles down to Jared Goff’s play and leadership.
4. Malcolm Rodriguez, LB
This kid has put the league on watch. Malcolm Rodriguez has had an impressive rookie preseason to say the least. Was thought to be just a depth piece when he was drafted in the 6th round at pick 188 “Rodrigo” as they call him has suddenly become the heavy favorite to start next to veteran LB Alex Anzalone when week 1 commences. Malcolm attended the University of Oklahoma State and over his career he totaled 408 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 13 Forced Fumbles that stat sheet is very very impressive and he has shown the potential so far in lions camp with all the coaches being very happy with his performances LB coach Kelvin Sheppard has even explained how Malcom Rodriguez has shown how much he wants it and how he will have the MLB starting spot come week 1 if he keeps it up. Malcolm is a safe breakout pick he is going to be a tackle machine and his game IQ brings my confidence up in him, he plays smart and hard. Malcolm should be a statement piece on the Lions defense for Years to come and just adding to the list of steal picks from GM Brad Holmes.
3. TJ Hockenson, TE
TJ Hockenson’s 2021 campaign was meddled with injury and some lackluster QB play, but when this offense was going and Jared Goff was going TJ looked to be a Top 5 TE in this league. TJ is one of the best TE’s in the league overall because he does it all and he does it at an elite level, you name it ball catching… Elite , blocking … Elite, and lots more. TJ is a safe breakout candidate for me because of his statline posting 61 receptions on just 583 yards , and 4 TD’s which was underwhelming for a guy like TJ, but this why i expect him to be a capital piece of this offenses success for years to come is because he can almost double the yards this year and easily statue himself into the top 5 conversation. The schedule was a lot harder last year than it is this year and this gives TJ a lot of games where he may be the top target on this offense, now obviously this receiving core will be very dangerous to, but if anything this helps TJ because now defenses have to worry about a loaded Receiving room to and not just the dangerous TE. Watch out folks if this year is all that I think it could be TJ takes this offense to a different level.
2. D’Andre Swift, RB
When you think of the best running backs in the NFL you think of Derrick Henry, CMC, Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler ETC. , but after this year don’t be surprised if D’andre Swift can’t put his name into this conversation. Now lot’s of people would completely agree D’andre Swift is a Beast in the running and passing game, and I would say he was close to the Top Ten running backs list after last year. Even though D’andre had a great 2021 campaign with some injuries here and there he is BOUND for a breakout 2022 Season . He has everything he needs, an Elite Offensive line and the trust from the coaches with Duce Staley (running backs coach for the Lions) saying D’andre’s goal is to rush for 1,000 yards and have 1,000 yards receiving, the better thing is he said they believe he can do that this year and maybe better. D’andre Swift is going to be a major factor in the Lions success and it is looking like he may be a pro bowl running back by season’s end. Buy stock now people, He looks poised to breakout.
1. Jeff Okudah, CB
There isn’t much explaining to do here. The former number 3 overall pick has only played in 10 games over the past two seasons due to injury, and only played in 1 game last year. But don’t let the injuries and games played fool you; he has a lot of talent and upside. After an impressive camp it was announced he would be the starting corner opposite Amani Oruwariaye which should turn out to be one of the better young Corner duos in the league. Jeff also had some impressive practices and preseason performances, and with him only being 23 years old and having a big season come up if he can stay healthy this breakout guess is self explanatory, if he plays the full season he will most definitely have a breakout campaign and hopefully live up to expectations coming out of college, and the perfect case scenario is having Amani play up to his expectations as the ball hawk and have Jeff being the lockdown corner, if they can make this happen the Lions defense will drastically improve and hopefully improve the team as a whole. Jeff has a lot to live up to and the pressures on him but my belief is that we have let the injuries blind us from the serious talent and poise this kid has.