After Week 1’s dreadful loss to the Chicago Bears it’s clear the Detroit Lions need their Rookies to lead the way. Quintez Cephis, Jeff Okudah and D’Andre Swift all need to step up.
There aren’t many years where a team needs to rely on its rookies to push them over the top. Honestly, the Detroit Lions have never really relied upon rookies to make a huge impact in year one. It is clear this year the Detroit Lions need ever one of their draft picks to play a role. That means Jeff Okudah, DAndre Swift and Quintez Cephus need to have big games.
Okudah has been reported to have a rough training camp. He didn’t make it on the field for Week 1. Now, The Lions need him to not only play but excel at CB. The Lions are already depleted at the CB position and after last week they put more guys on IR. Now is the time for Jeff Okudah to show why the Lions drafted him #3 over all. He is being forced into playing this week. But the circumstances of why should not matter. The fact is the Lions NEED their 1st round pick to play and play well.
Aaron Rodgers looked like MVP Rogers in week 1 vs the Vikings. He torched Minnesota for 364 yards and 4 TDs. If that is the Aaron we are going to see on Sunday, we need Okudah to play out of his mind. This will be a trial by fire, but this is the NFL. You get throw in the deep end and you better know how to swim. Okudah has a chance to set the tone for his career this Sunday.
Speaking of setting the tone for your career. D’Andre Swift has a change to kick off his career with a 2 TD game and be the hero catching the game winning TD pass from Matt Stafford. By now you’ve seen the play. Swift just flat out dropped the ball. With it, I’m hoping he didn’t lose all of his confidence. His quotes after the drop make me thing he will be fine:
“It comes with preparation throughout the week and I think I did a good job of that. Just keep building on that so they can trust me to be out there and more opportunities,”
Needless to say it was a brutal drop that could have sealed the victory for the Detroit Lions. Swift will bounce back and we need him to in a big way against the Packers.
Quintez Cephus is a rookie I have been very high on since day 1. He slipped to the Lions in the draft and has already proven he can play at the NFL level. Cephus lead the team, and all rookies, with 10 targets last week. Although, he only caught 3 of the targets but you can tell the Lions need this rookie to step up in a major way.
There were moments last week where Cephus and Stafford were not on the same page. Which will happen with rookie WR’s trying to learn a new system. (I refuse to blame Covid for any slow start. All teams are dealing with it. So the playing field is level). If Kenny Golladay, who hasn’t practiced all week, is out again the Lions need Cephus to pull down a few more of those 10 targets.
Now its all on Matt Patrica to make sure he puts these young players in a position to win. It is a little scary that we are depending so much on our rookie class to deliver us victories. This is what bad teams do. They don’t have the group of core vets to lead the way, so you fall back on raw athletic ability. That is not a recipe for success in the NFL. I believe in our rookie class, I think this was Quinn’s best class by far. But to expect them to come in and make us a contender in year one is tough. Quinn and Patrica need to do a better job of stocking the cupboard with real NFL players so we do not have to try to speed up the rookie process.