Through the first half, a rookie, a surprise free agent, has been the top Lion.

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Through the first half, a rookie, a surprise free agent, has been the top Lion.

The Detroit Lions’ 2021 season hasn’t gone as planned, as the team is still looking for their first win, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some positives for the team this year.

Detroit wants to have a much better end to the season, and in order to do so, they’ll need their star players to keep showing up and playing a huge part for the club.

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So far, no one has succeeded in doing so. Here are some of the best players that have made a huge impression so far this season.

Tight End T.J. Hockenson

To this time, the Lions’ passing offense has only had one reliable weapon, and that weapon has been Hockenson. Due to a lack of depth at wideout, the Lions have had to watch as Hockenson is pursued and double-covered all over the field. Despite this, he has put up respectable numbers and made some impressive plays this season. Hockenson has 448 yards and two touchdowns this season, so it’s looking like he’ll easily surpass his 2017 total of 723 receiving yards.

Hockenson’s progression as a pass catcher can be seen on this play. He’s not just your average tight end; he’s a player who can spread the field and make a nice catch in the end zone on occasion. Hockenson’s development has been hampered by the Lions’ offense’s dysfunction, so the expectation is that if the team improves at receiver, he can continue to improve.

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye

This year, the Lions’ defensive backfield has been severely bruised and battered. Before the season began, they lost key players like Jeff Okudah and rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu. All of this has resulted in some growth for younger players, as well as helping Oruwariye establish himself as a star in his own right. Oruwariye has three interceptions, 29 total tackles, and four passes defended so far this season. Late in the 2020 season, the corner shown excellent instincts, as evidenced by this interception:

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