The NFL will announce the 2022 Pro Bowl roster during a special program at 8pm ET on the NFL Network. So far, the league has already revealed several players. Tom Brady, Aaron Donald, Justin Jefferson, and Cooper Kupp were some of the notable names. Now it’s no secret the Detroit Lions aren’t having their best season. Their record is 2-11-1. Despite that, they do have one player that should expect to hear his name selected. And that’s Amani Oruwariye.
Oruwariye has been one of the brightest spots of this Lions season. Coming into it, the expectation was that he and Quinton Dunbar would compete for a starting role. Dunbar, however, soon fell out of favor with the team. He dealt with personal issues to the point he was absent from the team. The Lions shortly after released him. Dunbar’s release paved the way for Oruwariye. He stepped into the starter role alongside Jeff Okudah.
And he didn’t look back.
Amani Oruwariye has had a phenomenal season. The 25-year-old corner is currently third in the NFL in interceptions (six). Ahead of him is the Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs (nine) and the Patriots’ J.C. Jackson (seven). Oruwariye, or “2-4” as the team calls him, also has 44 tackles and 11 pass deflections.
Not bad, right?
Oruwariye has had the season the Detroit Lions hoped to get out of Jeff Okudah this year. After all, Okudah was a highly-touted No. 3 overall pick out of Ohio State. The expectation was Okudah would be the shutdown corner and playmaker in the Lions secondary. Along with that, the Lions expected Okudah to bring the swagger to that unit. They labeled him as the guy who could lead the team and league in interceptions. With Okudah suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1, Oruwariye filled that void. He became everything Detroit needed and then some.
He cemented his season with his best play of the year during the 30-12 beatdown of the Arizona Cardinals.
Oruwariye picked off Kyler Murray several plays after Godwin Igwebuike’s fumble. It was the most impressive play of the year. His diving interception wasn’t the most impressive part of the play. It was how quickly he got up, and nearly turned it into a pick-six.
There’s no telling what the future holds for Amani Oruwariye in Detroit. And after such a phenomenal year, surely the Lions would want him back. In my opinion, locking him into a long term deal is the right move. While this team is still rebuilding, Oruwariye will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Therefore making the jump early on locking him in is necessary.
In the end, Oruwariye should be planning for a trip to Las Vegas, because despite the Lions’ record, he’s had a Pro Bowl year.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.