The Detroit Lions need to see some players take major steps forward in 2022 in order to achieve more success on the field, and a breakout would be a nice thing for plenty of folks on the team.
Which player could be expected to get that done, though? It’s a tough question to answer given the amount of quality players on the squad, but a familiar answer has come from Bleacher Report ahead of 2022.
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Writer Ian Wharton took a look at predicting the breakout players for every single team entering the 2022 season. When it came to the Lions specifically, he had a familiar answer in a player who broke out in 2021, but could be expected to do even more on the field this coming year in cornerback Amani Oruwariye.
As Wharton explained, Oruwaryie not only has solid ball production, but he shut down opposing wideouts and quarterbacks and could push for a Pro Bowl this season. He went so far as to admit the breakout may have happened, but projected Oruwariye to shine starting now.
Wharton wrote: “his reputation will grow as Detroit has drawn more attention after its late-season improvement last season. With more eyes on Detroit, it’s time for Oruwariye to shine.”
Looking like Detroit’s top cornerback, it’s not a bad projection all to think Oruwariye will break out and become a star.
Oruwariye Focused on Winning More Games With Lions
If Oruwariye was told about this designation for this coming season, he’d probably brush it off. The reason? The cornerback isn’t interested in personal goals but rather team goals in Detroit. Asked at a press conference on May 11, 2022 about what he wants to accomplish this season, Oruwariye took a team approach and said he simply wants to win more games in Detroit this year rather than single out much personal success he wishes to have.
“I mean, I had a lot of good personal goals I feel like last year which were
great. Definitely a lot to build off of, but I think the next step is to win more
games,” Oruwariye told the media bluntly. “I think coming over next year, just bringing that experience and just trying to get any of the new guys to mesh into the room well and then and just (help to) elevate the younger guys’ games. Then, just keep being consistent as much as I can and trying to get some more wins.”
Consistency will be key for Oruwariye, and it will be interesting to see if he can get to a position where he can intercept a handful of passes every year. If he can exceed that, it will likely be called a breakout. Regardless of that, though, it’s clear Oruwariye wants to see wins more than anything on his own stat ledger, which is admirable.
Oruwariye’s Career Stats & Highlights
During the 2019 season as he started into the league, Oruwariye didn’t do much statistically for the team early on as he battled a knee injury most of the early part of the year, and as a result, his stats weren’t that robust as a rookie. Oruwariye finished 2019 with 2 interceptions and 19 tackles for the Lions, but has been a player who has delivered before given his work in college. During the 2020 season on the field, he has 53 tackles, 1 interception and 7 passes defended, meaning he was easily able to eclipse his statistical work from last season, setting him on a good trajectory for the future.
While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Last year, he showed up big for the Lions with tons of big plays. In total, Oruwariye had 57 tackles, 11 passes defended and 6 interceptions. Here’s a look at some of his highlights:
So far in Detroit, he’s shown an ability to step up and stick in coverage which is great news for the Lions. The fact that the numbers show him as one of the best players at his position in the league is a major plus for the team’s future on a needy defense.
The next goal for Holmes? Find a way to lock down a player that has played well and wants to be in the mix long-term. That should be easy work for the team’s front office brass.
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