Detroit Lions rookie class set to make major impact in 2021

The Detroit Lions will reduce their roster to just 53 players in the coming days. And the new regime in Motown has some tough choices to make.

Not only should the team’s newest class of rookies be scattered around the team’s final lineup at the start of the regular season, but it should also be a big part of any resurgence that takes place in 2021.

The new regime made playing in the trenches the focus of their this year’s draft, using number seven of the overall pick on Oregon Penei Sewell offensive tackle. They followed with a back-to-back defensive tackle selection that went with Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike in the second and Alim McNeill of North Carolina in the third.

Syracuse defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu was the Lions’ other third-round player.
USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and Purdue linebacker Derrick Barnes were the team’s selections in the fourth round. Finally, Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson was the final pick in seventh place.

On the verge of recent cuts, it appears that every single one of the team’s draft picks will be added to the final Lions list in 2021. In fact,’s Tim Twentyman believes two rookies could be named as Motown’s preseason co-defenders. One is Barnes. The other? An undrafted rookie in cornerback AJ Parker.

”… Parker is an excellent surprise for the Lions’ hold this summer again. The guy lives around football and always seems to be in the right place to make a game. At this point, it’ll be a surprise if he’s not the first week Nickel cornerback … He could be the preseason co-defensive player for the Lions, along with rookie linebacker Derrick Barnes.

At this point, the Lions could have several rookies on the team if they face the San Francisco 49ers in their regular season home opener in Ford Field Week One.

Sewell was supposed to start the Lions’ right tackle, though he still finds his sea legs after playing left tackle in college. Onwuzurike and McNeill should both make significant progress as rookies on the defensive.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if St. Brown tops all Lions receivers at receptions in its first season, simply due to the lack of talent in that position. And there’s a strong argument that Barnes played his way into a starting role this summer.

The idea of ​​starting several rookies, while not ideal, serves as hope for the future after a single off-season amid active renovation. If these first year players can go beyond the low expectations currently placed on this team, then the Detroit Lions should do better in the long run.

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