Let’s go ahead and start with the most obvious player here. That’s quarterback Jared Goff. The Lions must do well at the quarterback position. To see him thrive through training camp will be really important for the Lions’ season as a whole. Jared Goff is vital to the Lions’ success due to the fact no one is behind him right now in the quarterback position that can work the offense on the field. He must succeed for the Lions’ season to succeed. We want to see if he continues the continuity with DJ shark that they had in minicamp and OTAs. I cannot stress enough how Jared Goff the importance of winning or losing in 2022.
The next player on my list is cornerback Jeffrey Okudah. We drafted this player third overall in 2019, he has not lived up to the expectations ever since he was drafted. Last year he got injured and didn’t really play at all. This year is a make-or-break year for Jeffrey Okudah. We need to see him continue to excel and recover from his injury. Can he stay fully healthy? can he take the next step as a player? The defensive backs room has a lot of competition at the cornerback position. See the progression of Okudah in training camp will give clues to how well he can play and who wins the starting roles for the Lions in the back end of the defense.
Taylor Decker is one of the main components of the Detroit Lions’ offensive line. Taylor Decker is the veteran of this positional group and the player who protects QB Jared Goff’s blind side. Decker was injured in 2021 and it hurt the Lions’ starting rotation. Taylor Decker must show he can stay on the field and also improve regarding false starts and holding penalties. If Decker can stay healthy throughout camp, that spells good news for the Lions’ offense as a whole.
D’Andre Swift is a key component of the Lions’ Offense. The Lions have been lacking in the running game for years. Since being drafted by the Lions’, D’Andre Swift has been injured and unable to stay healthy for a full season. Swift took the time this offseason to build muscle, attempting to be able to deal with the pounding through a regular season. If Swift can stay healthy in training camp, this will be a positive sign for the Lions running game for the 2022 NFL season.
One of the weakest positional groups for the Detroit Lions is the linebacking corps. The battle for the starting roles will be raging in training camp. One player who has stood out in minicamp and OTAs was LB Chris Board. Chris Board could be a diamond in the ruff if he continues to show the progress that he did in prior Lions-organized activities. If he shows growth in training camp, Board could be a missing piece to a group that is considered weak.
Levi Onwuzurike was drafted last year in the second round. The expectations for Levi Onwuzurike in 2020 were quite high. However, Onwuzurike was dealing with injuries and did not perform to the expectations given to him. Levi Onwuzurike decided to stay in Detroit this offseason to get healthy and in high physical shape. With the additions to the defensive line in Aidan Hutchinson and Joshua Paschal, Levi Onwuzurike must show in training camp he can stay healthy and make an impact on defense. The Lions invested a lot in the interior defensive line, now it is time for Levi Onwuzurike to step up.
The biggest free agent solace in 2022 was signing WR DJ Chark. DJ Chark is extremely talented at the wide receiver position. In Jacksonville, he showed highlights of how he can stretch the defense. So far in the Lions organized activities, he and QB Jared Goff has shown nice chemistry together in practice. Can this chemistry continue in training camp? Can DJ Chark be the missing piece to the Lions’ deep threat? These questions can be answered in training camp.
TE T.J. Hockenson
One of the biggest pieces on offense for the Detroit Lions is TE T.J. Hockenson. Many media outlets and players around the NFL agree that T.J. Hockenson is a top 10 TE in the NFL. With that said, Hockenson has not stayed healthy for a full season and put up big numbers. T.J. Hockenson must continue to stay healthy in training camp and become a massive impact player on offense for Dan Campbell.
The Detroit Lions invested a second-round pick in Joshua Paschal. Paschal in OTAs and Minicamp was injured and did not do much during practices. Paschal must get healthy for training camp and show why he was drafted so high. With high investment on the defensive line, Paschal must show he can be a disruption for opponents. Health is key for any player in the NFL and very important for young players such as Joshua Paschal.
Lions went aggressive to draft WR Jameson Williams. Trading up from the 32nd pick to pick 12 in the 2022 NFL draft, shows they love Williams. Jameson Willams is recovering from an injury and the progress of his injury has mixed opinions. Is Jameson Williams near ready to practice or is Williams not close to returning to practice? The question is unknown. Finding out what Williams does in training camp will be a big indication of how soon he will be on the field.