Sat, 11 Jul 2020

Lions offseason questions: Breakout player

Detroit Lions
29 May 2020, 20:25 GMT+10

As the Detroit Lions make their way through the virtual offseason training program, the hope is to get on track to play the 2020 season as scheduled.

With a new year comes new opportunity for every player on the Lions' roster. Which Lion could be poised for a breakout season? I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:

Tim Twentyman: Tight end T.J. Hockenson

The tight end position is probably the toughest for rookies to learn outside of quarterback. It's essentially learning three positions at once, and those guys have to know all the protections, blocking schemes and then obviously the route tree and passing game concepts.

We don't typically see tight ends come into the league and tear it up as rookies. There's plenty examples, however, of guys having big second seasons, and that's certainly what I expect from Detroit's first-round pick in 2019.

Mike O'Hara: Offensive lineman Frank Ragnow

Ragnow's stature is rising, and he's not close to reaching his ceiling.

Ragnow was a good starting guard as a rookie in 2018, and he was an even better center when he moved there in 2019.

Ragnow has all the physical traits and temperament to take another jump in 2020 and eventually become a perennial Pro Bowl and All-Pro center for years to come.

Ragnow showed his ability to adapt as a rookie when he started all 16 games at left guard after being drafted in the first round as a center out of Arkansas.

Ragnow welcomed the switch to center in 2019. He likes the challenge of being the leader of the offensive line and making all the calls.

Offensive linemen generally toil in anonymity. If the Lions become the tough offensive team they want to be and run the ball effectively, look for Ragnow to be in the center of that effort.

Tori Petry: Tight end T.J. Hockenson

That first year in the league is the hardest for many players - particularly at tight end, where you have to learn your role in the offense both as a pass catcher and a blocker. We saw what Hockenson was capable of last year in Arizona when he had 6 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.

His season unfortunately ended early with an injury, but now that he's gotten his rookie year and the steep learning curve that comes with it out of the way, he's poised to be a huge asset to this team in his second year.

Editor's Pick: Defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand

I can certainly appreciate the Hockenson pick (and Ragnow too), but I'm interested to see what Hand can do in his third season. The opportunity is there if he can stay healthy.

More Michigan News

Access More

Sign up for Michigan State News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!