Elite Pass Rusher Leads Lions With First-Time Pro Bowl Potential in 2021

Romeo Okwara

Getty Romeo Okwara celebrates a big play against the Cardinals.

The Detroit Lions are trying to develop a new roster with plenty of new and talented players, and part of that involves getting players to achieve some amazing things and reach new highs.

Last season, the Lions added a trio of first time Pro Bowl players in punter Jack Fox, center Frank Ragnow and tight end T.J. Hockenson. This season, they have plenty of other players who are capable of breaking out and breaking through and joining this group.
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Which players should fans be watching the closest to see if they can crack the Pro Bowl, and who from the roster has the best shot? Here’s a look at some of the names to remember.

Jonah Jackson, G

Jackson had an impressive start to his career as a rookie, looking rock solid and appearing in all 16 games with 16 starts. Along the way, Jackson looked good and was an example of a player who didn’t look overwhelmed early in his time in the league whatsoever. This season as a sophomore in the league, Jackson will be tasked with not only replicating the feat, but getting better as well. Based on his ability to keep his head above water in his rookie year, Jackson will be tested but could find a way to rank amongst the most impressive players at his position in the league.

Tracy Walker, S

A few years back, it looked as if Walker had some definite Pro Bowl potential at safety. In 2020, he lost his way a bit, but is looking to re-discover that in a major way with some tutelage from Aaron Glenn, who was a defensive back in the league. Glenn should be able to figure out a way to get Walker playing some consistent football again, and if he does that within Detroit’s new scheme, the statistics might only follow. With a big year, Walker could get himself on some Pro Bowl radars across the league and crack the game.

Romeo Okwara, DE/LB

If ever there was a player who seemed destined to head to a Pro Bowl in the near future on the Detroit roster, it’s Okwara, who has impressed since the Lions picked him up off the NFL scrap heap a few seasons ago. Okwara has put up numbers with the Lions before, and now that he has signed his new deal and is in the mix officially, he will only feel more comfort. That comfort could lead him to going over the 12 sack mark in a season, which could lead to the Pro Bowl. Time will tell, but Okwara should be counted as a huge contender for this as early as the 2021 season for Detroit. He’s already perhaps been snubbed from the game once.

D’Andre Swift, RB

It’s been a while since the Lions had a Pro Bowl caliber running back, easily to the days of Barry Sanders and after that, Reggie Bush. Swift has a chance to finally shatter that mold and break through to give the team another elite option at the position. As the lead dog, Swift figures to see plenty of touches and love in Detroit in 2021, so doing the math, if he performs, that could set him up for success. Swift seems primed for success at the position into the future, and that could lead him to a Pro Bowl as early as 2021 with the Lions’ new run-heavy offensive attack they will figure to be leaning on.

Breshad Perriman, WR

To some, this addition might seem like a joke, but Perriman is the kind of guy who at 27 still has not found comfort in an NFL locale or put things together. Coming into a situation where Perriman figures to see plenty of targets, it could be a big season for the player who is still fairly young in football terms. In 2019, Perriman had 645 yards and 6 scores. If he eclipsed that with the Lions as one of the team’s primary deep threats, it could be a Pro Bowl type season that gets him back on NFL radars.

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