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NFC North Rundown: Lions’ second-year players are poised for a jump in production

Jeff Okudah and a couple of offensive players should get help from their schemes and supporting cast in year two.

Detroit Lions v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

After trading Darius Slay two Marches ago, the Detroit Lions were counting heavily on first-round pick Jeff Okudah to fill some of the gap left by the former Pro Bowler. Instead, it was a very inconsistent and injury-filled first season in silver and blue for Okudah that left Lions fans feeling, well, blue.

Looking ahead to this season, Okudah has another superb opportunity to cement a starting role at one boundary cornerback position with a new coaching staff and help along the defensive line. Today’s musings take a look some of the support Okudah will have during his sophomore campaign while also checking in on two additional second-year players that will be looking to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball for Detroit.

Meanwhile, one veteran Minnesota Viking strongly believes the team will be a title contender this season after sticking with the team on a renegotiated deal and the Chicago Bears continue to seek a long-term contract extension with one of their notable wide receivers.

Detroit Lions

Jeff Okudah will excel by having a stronger supporting cast

A defensive coordinator that was once a star corner himself should help Okudah, but so will a bolstered pass rush.

Projecting the Detroit Lions running back touch distribution for the 2021 season

By analyzing the running games in New Orleans and Los Angeles, here is a breakdown of how Head Coach Dan Campbell and Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn may distribute the touches among its diverse running back room.

4 Keys to Success for WR Quintez Cephus in 2021

Route-running will be a critical trait for the former Wisconsin Badgers receiver in year two.


Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Barr believes Vikings have makings of a ‘Super Bowl-winning team’ entering 2021 season

The optimism was a big factor behind Barr’s decision to take a pay cut and remain in Minnesota.

Xs & Os: How Chazz Surratt’s Instincts Helped Switch & Could Benefit Vikings

The former quarterback kept the streak of linebackers drafted by the Vikings alive after changing sides of the ball in college.

Cris Carter Reveals His Behind the Scenes Reaction to Randy Moss Being Drafted

Minnesota’s drafting of Moss has some interesting parallels to the Packers’ decision to draft Jordan Love in terms of its effect on a veteran player. Here’s how Carter handled the news behind closed doors in 1998.


Chicago Bears

Where Bears Upgraded Most in Free Agency

Spoiler: Andy Dalton does not rank first on the list.

Bears Front Seven Must Shoulder the Load

The Bears need more from Khalil Mack in 2021, but the entire front seven must help an inexperienced secondary. Here are the ratings for all projected Chicago defensive starters heading into training camp.

The window is closing for an Allen Robinson contract

It is looking increasingly likely that Robinson will be playing for the value of the franchise tag next season.