Projecting Lions’ Statistical Leaders, Team Awards for 2021 Season

Jared Goff

Getty Jared Goff slings a pass against the Bills during the Lions preseason in 2021.

The Detroit Lions are pushing toward another season on the field, and the biggest question right now on everyone’s mind is how the team is going to do once they get going and the season shakes out.

There will be a chance for players all over to star and do some great things on the field, and that is especially true with how wide open the competition seems to be across the roster. With this in mind, there should be a great chance for the Lions

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So how will the 2021 season play out statistically? Here’s a look a some projections for the team as the season gets set to begin.


Quarterback

  • Jared Goff: 4,485 yards, 41 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
  • Those who are predicting a miserable year for Goff are going to be sorely mistaken, as the quarterback is going to come to Detroit and have a quick career resurgence. Goff won’t throw for 5,000 yards but he will come close and also get the touchdowns back while limiting the interceptions. It’s going to be a solid year for Goff, who is going to lead the way in terms of production at the quarterback spot like he should.


    Running Back

  • D’Andre Swift: 975 yards, 14 touchdowns, 400 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Jamaal Williams: 550 yards, 5 touchdowns, 260 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
  • The Lions won’t crack the 1,000 yard rusher barrier this season again, but that doesn’t matter as they will get a much bigger season from the tandem of Swift and Williams. This duo has a chance to be special for the team, so the Lions will be happy to ride them all the way behind their rebuilt line. It’s going to be a huge year for these guys and they will be the top two producers at the spot.


    Wide Receiver

  • Tyrell Williams: 55 receptions, 780 yards, 5 touchdowns
  • Trinity Benson: 44 receptions, 450 yards, 5 touchdowns
  • Quintez Cephus: 40 receptions, 400 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown: 30 receptions, 395 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • KhaDarel Hodge: 25 receptions, 250 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Khalif Raymond: 20 receptions, 200 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • With a wideout group short on big-name talent, balance is going to be the name of the game for Anthony Lynn and. company at wideout, and that’s just what the Lions are going to get from their group. Williams, as a veteran with the most experience and a good relationship with Goff, will be the statistical leader. Others, including a pair of players the Lions traded for, will also chip in as well as their top rookie.


    Tight End

  • T.J. Hockenson: 70 receptions, 1,120 yards, 10 touchdowns
  • Darren Fells: 35 receptions, 550 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • If there’s a security blanket for the Lions this year and Goff, it will quickly be Hockenson, who will begin to look the part of one of the best tight ends in the game of football. Fells will help out, but this will be the Hockenson show for the Lions, who are going to ride him to one of the best seasons they’ve had at tight end in a while. It’s going to be a huge season for Hockenson, who proves himself as one of the best at his position with this effort.


    Defensive Line

  • Michael Brockers: 65 tackles, 6.5 sacks
  • Romeo Okwara: 58 tackles, 13.5 sacks
  • Trey Flowers: 56 tackles, 11.0 sacks
  • Alim McNeill: 50 tackles, 4.0 sacks
  • Levi Onwuzurike: 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks
  • Charles Harris: 37 tackles, 5.0 sacks
  • Austin Bryant: 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks
  • Nick Williams: 29 tackles, 2.0 sacks
  • The Lions will have a completely new defensive outlook this year, and for the defensive line, that will mean much better numbers. This entire group will be active rookies included, and that will lead to deep statistics. Missing the cut here will be Kevin Strong and John Penisini who might still put up good numbers. That only points to how deep this group figures to be in 2021, though.


    Linebacker

  • Jamie Collins: 106 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions
  • Derrick Barnes: 88 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 1 interception
  • Alex Anzalone: 65 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 0 interceptions
  • Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 40 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 interception
  • The standouts at linebacker will include a veteran in Collins who is desperate to continue to prolong his career and a rookie in Barnes who is just starting his. Decent production down the roster for the Lions as well, which will be nice to see. It figures to be a better season for the linebacker room with all this in mind.


    Cornerback

  • Amani Oruwariye: 60 tackles, 5 interceptions, 10 passes defended
  • Jeff Okudah: 52 tackles, 4 interceptions, 12 passes defended
  • A.J. Parker: 40 tackles, 2 interceptions, 6 passes defended
  • Ifeatu Melifonwu: 32 tackles, 1 interception, 5 passes defended
  • Jerry Jacobs: 20 tackles, 0 interceptions, 3 passes defended
  • This is a young cornerback group and it will be surprisingly led by Oruwariye. It won’t be a bad year for Okudah and others, but it’s going to be a great season for the youngster out of Penn State. A few young players in Parker and Melifonwu develop along with Jacobs, who cracked the team as an undrafted free agent.


    Safety

  • Tracy Walker: 90 tackles, 4 interceptions, 8 passes defended
  • Will Harris: 45 tackles, 1 interception 6 passes defended
  • It might not be a deep position statistically, but the Lions will have a couple standouts in their best players at the spot in Walker and Harris, both of whom will look more than comfortable in the team’s new scheme in 2021 and grow under Aaron Glenn.


    Special Teams

  • Jack Fox: 3,100 punting yards, 30 punts inside 20 yard-line
  • Austin Seibert: 26/30 kicks, long of 54 yards, 56/60 extra points
  • Fox will continue to be solid as a punter and will once again be amongst the league’s elite at the position. Seibert is more of a question mark at kicker, but he will have a decent season for the Lions and hold down the job in a capable way for 2021.


    Lions MVP: T.J. Hockenson, Tight End

    Plenty of potential ways to go here, but Hockenson has the goods to be one of the best players in the league if he can remain healthy. That’s a big if, of course, but should it occur, there is no question given the uncertainty at other positions that Hockenson is poised to be the lead-dog in Detroit this season. He’s going to prove that and then some en-route to being the team MVP as a whole for the season, and likely getting another Pro Bowl nod along with an All-Pro selection from the league.


    Lions Rookie of the Year: Alim McNeill, Defensive Line

    It might be tempting to go with an offensive rookie like Penei Sewell or Amon-Ra St. Brown, and other defenders like Derrick Barnes and perhaps even Ifeatu Melifonwu will make strong cases at times, but it’s been hard not to see McNeill’s quick development and early nod as a starter playing a big role in his development. This might come as a shock to some, but McNeill takes home the goods for the team as the overall top rookie this year and has a very bright future.

    READ NEXT: Intriguing Numbers Show Dramatic Flip of Lions’ 2021 Roster


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