It’s that time of year again. Here are three burning questions for the Detroit Lions.
Can Stafford play the whole season?
The face of this franchise since he came into the league, Matthew Stafford was sidelined with an injury last season amidst a promising season.
A healthy Stafford, coupled with a receiving group that includes Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Geronimo Allison, and Jesse James, has plenty of capable pass catchers.
If Kerryon Johnson and second-round pick D’Andre Swift can be effective on the ground—even if it is just enough to keep defenses honest—Stafford could easily throw for over 4,000 yards again this season, something he’s already done seven times in his 11-year career.
Any more ex-Patriots in Motor City?
Former members of head coach Matt Patricia’s defense when he was the defensive coordinator in New England are now in Detroit. Defensive end Trey Flowers, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, linebacker Jamie Collins and safety Duron Harmon all call Detroit home.
The defense was an area of concern heading into the offseason despite being a team that was competitive in just about every game. They went score-for-score against the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs, but that becomes irrelevant when considering the game ended in an all-too-common result: a loss.
What can they expect out of their first-round pick?
The Lions used their No. 3 overall pick on Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who is expected to have immediate impact. After all, he was successful in a variety of coverages at the collegiate level.
Many compared Okudah to Jalen Ramsey or fellow Ohio State alum, Marshon Lattimore, leading up to the draft. If that is the type of player the Lions drafted and he can effectively cover his assignment, the secondary will not be a liability for this team.
It doesn’t hurt to have a player like Desmond Trufant lined up on the other side and safeties Harmon and Tracy Walker.
Okudah could be on the short list for Defensive Rookie of the Year consideration at the end of the season.