The Detroit Lions have a big season on tap for 2022, and if the team takes steps forward this year, it will be because of big performances.
Plenty of players have been revealed to be hunting big seasons, but one of the most obvious examples could be defensive lineman Alim McNeill.
After a solid 2021 season, most believe the arrow is firmly in the upward position for 2022 for McNeill. That’s true according to some insiders as well.
On Good Morning Football, McNeill’s merits as a breakout player were touted by Peter Schrager, and the analyst put him on the list of players that he is sure will have big seasons in 2022 after hearing some good things about his offseason.
As Schrager explained, McNeill isn’t generating tons of headlines even with Hard Knocks in town, but he is having a great summer.
“This guy’s about to have a huge breakout season. Has put on a ton of weight, he doesn’t mess around. He is a big man looking to make big plays this season. Alim McNeill quietly, away from the NFL Films cameras, is having an outstanding summer,” he revealed.
Schrager acknowledged that by putting McNeill on the list, he’s taking a risk given defensive linemen don’t always put up huge stats. Still, he is that sure McNeill is going to have a great year.
“It’s easy to identify a running back, it’s hard to pick out a guy like that. Alim McNeill, keep an eye on him. Lions fans, you have no idea how good this guy is going to be,” Schrager proclaimed.
The hope is McNeill is a big part of the success Detroit has in the trenches this year and takes a huge step forward. That would be an ideal outcome for the Lions at this point in time, especially considering the needs of their defense up front.
Hearing someone like Schrager expects it to happen is even better news to start the year.
McNeill Figures as Leader for Lions Line
The Detroit defensive line has depth this season, and has several young players that could be primed to make an impact.
John Cominsky and Demetrius Taylor both made the roster, but each player might offer more upside as a pass rusher. The Lions also have names such as Aidan Hutchinson, Charles Harris
While McNeill isn’t expected to be a sack master, he is expected to be the leading clogger for the Lions up front. He will help the likes of Benito Jones, Isaiah Buggs and the potentially hobbled early Levi Onwuzurike clog lanes up front.
Coming into a big second year, it’s easy to see why there is such hope for McNeill and his defensive mates.
McNeill Enjoyed Solid 2021 With Lions
As a rookie in Detroit, McNeill stepped up and filled a big role right away from day one. He played in 17 games with 6 starts as a rookie, which was a significant total.
With Onwuzurike injured early last year and taking time to adjust to the NFL, was easily the most impressive rookie defensive lineman on the field for the team.
McNeill stepped up right away as a plugger along the defensive front, and also found a way to generate a few sacks, something which the team’s line sorely needed last season on the field.
Detroit might have been used to seeing rookie players start slow, especially along the defensive line. McNeill, however, stepped up in a big way to show that he could be ready to help in shifting the narrative himself. More of that could be on the menu for 2022 in an even bigger way.
It might even lead to a breakout this season for McNeill on the field.