The Detroit Lions will have a ton of huge roster decisions to make in the coming weeks and months, and the biggest might be what to do with Romeo Okwara.
Detroit’s pass rusher was dominant all season long and managed to put up a very solid season in terms of pass rushers. He put up 10 sacks and 44 tackles this season, and looked elite in doing so. That led Okwara to being called one of the most underrated pass rushers in the league for his work this past season.
Contributor Brandon Thorn, writing for TrenchWarfare.com, ranked all the underrated pass rushers in the league and had Okwara very high on the list. He occupied the third position on the list and is clearly seen as a major player on the move.
Here’s what Thorn wrote:
“Okwara is having the best year of his career this season after the pandemic forced him into an unorthodox off-season training regimen that has simplified the game for him, yielded an arsenal of pass-rush moves, and allowed him to play much faster. Okwara’s contract voids after the Super Bowl and as a 25-year old former undrafted free agent with over 2,500 snaps of experience, will be a highly sought after commodity on the open market. His production this season is more in line with what he did in 2018 than his down year in 2019, so it has come off as a bit of a surprise, but when you study him on tape this year he is winning with advanced skill against all levels of competition, signaling a rusher with a high floor that has a good chance to duplicate his success moving forward.”
Detroit will have a big decision to make with Okwara, and it will be interesting to see what the move is for the next front office. It’s possible he could be a big time part of the next roster moving forward, or the Lions could simply let him walk when all is said and done.
Romeo Okwara Had Best Pressure Rate
Pro Football Focus recently took a look at the top players in the league with regard to the pressure rate statistic, and while Okwara isn’t leading the way, he’s darn close to doing so with some pretty impressive company. T.J. Watt, Aaron Donald and Joey Bosa lead the way, with Okwara registering a solid 17% pressure rate this season.
Highest pressure rate this season:
1. T.J. Watt – 18.2%
2. Aaron Donald – 18%
3. Joey Bosa – 17.4%
4. Romeo Okwara – 17%
5. Chase Winovich- 16.5% pic.twitter.com/ahRIlZ28Sc
— PFF (@PFF) November 17, 2020
Overall, this only is half of the picture when it comes to Okwara’s good work this year. He’s passed the eye test in a major way. With Trey Flowers sidelined, Okwara is a vital player for the Lions to have in the mix and playing well moving forward, and they will need him to keep showing out as an edge presence.
These numbers only serve to prove how good Okwara has been when the Lions have needed him most. Credit him for stepping up and becoming a statistical darling this year.
Romeo Okwara Stats
If there’s been one dangerous pass rusher this season for the Lions that has stepped up, it’s Okwara, who came alive at the right time for Detroit most of the 2020 season. As a whole this season, Okwara managed to collect the most sacks of any Lions player (10) and he also thrives on creating pressure and panic in the pocket. With this in mind, it’s fair to say that Okwara figures to drive the bus for Detroit in terms of pass rush and has been going it alone most of the time in Detroit. That could only boost his stock when all is said and done this offseason.
As a whole, Okwara has 16 sacks to this point in his career coming into 2020 and lost a few seasons to nagging injuries. This season, he looked all but sure to pass his high water mark of 7.5 sacks from a few years back and that happened easily.
Now, he’s one of the most underrated pass rushers as a result.