Lions Breakout Candidates in 2024

The Detroit Lions have their sights set on the ultimate prize in 2024.

Lions EDGE James Houston nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week - Pride Of  Detroit

After experiencing plenty of success in 2023, the Lions are legitimate title contenders in the upcoming NFL season.

To get to the top, they’ll need players to step up and reach higher levels of production. Lucky for Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, the organization has plenty of young talent.

Here are five breakout candidates for the Lions in the 2024 NFL season.

WR Jameson Williams

Lions WR coach focused on Jameson Williams' drops, not character - Pride Of  Detroit

Williams is in the midst of a pivotal offseason for his future as a Lion. The Lions will have to decide on his fifth-year option around this time next year, so he needs to put together a solid campaign in 2024.

After having his first two offseasons interrupted, he’s fully healthy and appears to be set for his first NFL season. Through two seasons, he has played just 18 games, or one game more than the equivalent of one full season.

Though the overall numbers are lackluster, Williams ended last season on a high note with two touchdowns in the NFC Championship game. He has game-breaking speed and will be a threat to score every time he touches the ball. As a result, a full offseason of work could vault him into a role that will allow him to flourish.

LB Jack Campbell

Why Detroit Lions rookie LB Jack Campbell played into 2nd half vs. Jags -  Pride Of Detroit

Of Detroit’s first four Draft picks, it took Campbell the longest to assert himself in a starting role. However, he finished the season strong and appeared capable of being a force in the middle of the defense moving forward.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Campbell take over the Lions’ MIKE position at the second level, with Alex Anzalone playing the WILL spot. The Iowa product will have the full offseason and gained plenty of valuable experience down the stretch.

Detroit clearly had high expectations for the defender when it selected him 18th overall. As a result, he could be due to take a big leap in his second NFL campaign.

S Ifeatu MelifonwuIfeatu Melifonwu (@Ifeatu_Mel) / X

Melifonwu took advantage of his first major NFL opportunity last season, his third NFL campaign. Now, in the final year of his rookie deal, he’ll enter the year as the starter at safety. As a result, he has a chance to put together a full season of solid production.

The Syracuse product showed plenty of talent in his first extended stretch of major playing time last year. He displayed a knack for blitzing, which brought a much-needed change of pace to the Lions’ defense.

There’s plenty to like about his abilities and his fit within Detroit’s defense. As a result, it will be exciting to monitor his production throughout the 2024 season.

CB Amik Robertson

New Detroit Lions CB Amik Robertson talks playing with swagger, creating  turnovers & more

The Lions made several additions at cornerback this offseason, and Robertson may be the most intriguing. He’s undersized to play the boundary corner position, but possesses a mean-streak and physicality that allows him to succeed in this area.

Robertson should earn significant playing time in some capacity, whether it be inside as the slot corner or on the outside. He has four career interceptions, and with Detroit’s heavy man-to-man style he could have the ability to increase that number significantly.

There will be plenty of competition in Detroit’s secondary, which will bring out the best in all parties. Robertson could wind up being an excellent addition to the group.

EDGE James Houston

Lions news: James Houston among most impressive under-the-radar EDGEs -  Pride Of Detroit

Houston had an excellent rookie campaign, but has yet to play a full year. Last year could’ve been his breakout, but he suffered an ankle injury that kept him out for much of the season.

If the pass-rusher can put together a full campaign, he should work wonders for a defense that struggled to produce sacks last season. He has exceptional bend around the edge and is quick to the passer, so he will be a nice pass-rush specialist at the very least.

If Houston can also develop into the team’s SAM linebacker and get more consistent playing time, he’ll put up big numbers for the team this season.

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