The Detroit Lions have been learning a lot about their team in 2020, and one of the best lessons so far is that they might have a stud they’re developing in the defensive backfield.
Last year, Amani Oruwariye was trying to learn the NFL on the fly. As a rookie 5th round pick, his advancement to the league was tough, but he kept battling and kept his head above water enough to finish the season in solid fashion with 2 interceptions. This year, Oruwariye has taken off and has managed to do a great job to learn the league and show he could be a force moving forward.
Recently, Pro Football Focus took a closer look at Oruwariye’s ranks and found that he is starting to surge a bit and come into his own this season on the field in Detroit. The numbers through the last few games show the picture of a player starting to put it altogether.
Obviously, this is excellent news for the Lions, who need their cornerback room to be strong and deep. With Oruwariye showing signs of coming on this year, they might have yet another young player to build around for the future in addition to Jeff Okudah.
Lions Defensive Backs This Season
The Lions have been a team that have been playing hot and cold in the backfield this year. On one hand, they’ve been solid in terms of forcing a few interceptions and playing together. On the other, they’ve been missing veteran players like Desmond Trufant, and Jeff Okudah has struggled in his introduction to the league. There’s been some signs folks are getting comfortable, however, and Oruwariye has quietly shown some excellent productivity so far which is a good sign for his ability to stick on the roster and help this group develop. At safety, the team has played well with Tracy Walker and Duron Harmon looking like solid players for the group on the back end in the middle of the field.
If Oruwariye continues his great play, it’s something that will be commended for the Lions considering they stole him in the draft. Truthfully, it could help their defensive backfield in a big way for the future.
Amani Oruwariye’s Stats
Last 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. 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. So far in 2020, he has 13 tackles, meaning he should easily be able to eclipse his statistical work from last season.
While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Obviously, the Lions have to hope that as he comes along, Oruwariye can manage to become the ball hawk he was for the Nittany Lions for years.
So far in Detroit, he’s shown an ability to do that as well as stick in coverage which is great news for the Lions. If they can get a pair of elite young cornerbacks teaming up to play great football, the team will be in excellent shape moving forward in the next few seasons.
READ NEXT: Lions Place Promising Rookie Defender on IR