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D'Andre Swift, Levi Onwuzurike Can't Join List of Second-Round Busts

The Detroit Lions will need these two players to play at a high level in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have a dubious record of drafting busts in the second round of the NFL Draft.

When linebacker Jahlani Tavai was waived, he became the 12th Lions second-round pick to not finish out his rookie contract since 2007.

The other 11 individuals include Ikaika Alama-Francis, Gerald Alexander, Jordon Dizon, Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure, Ryan Broyles, Kyle Van Noy, Ameer Abdullah, Teez Tabor and Kerryon Johnson.

For the new regime to have any sort of success, two second-round picks on the roster must contribute at a high level.

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Running back D'Andre Swift and defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike have both caught the attention of Lions general manager Brad Holmes.

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Swift's 2021 season has gotten off to a slow start, due to a nagging groin injury, causing him to miss a portion of training camp.

“I expect him to be a weapon. That’s what he is in both phases, run and pass," Holmes said last week. "I’m not trying to put a number on how many plays he’s going to play or how much time or all that. We’ll let that stuff play itself out. He’s had a good week of practice. He looked good out there today. He looked explosive. He’s got juice, and he showed that playmaking ability in practice. We’re really excited about him.”

When asked about the strengths of the team, Holmes replied the team's offensive line, running backs and the defensive line were units he was impressed with.

"I would say that we have some strengths on both sides of the ball. We do see it eye-to-eye, but I’ll say I think our offensive line would be a strength," he said. "I think our running back position is a strength, and I think that we want to be able to run the football. But, I believe that we have the staff in place and the personnel in place to have those expectations. On the other side of the ball, our defensive line -- we’ve got some dogs up there up front, man."

Onwuzurike also missed time early in training camp, but his return is a reason for excitement, since he has the ability to become a disruptor on the Lions' rebuilt defensive line.

“Yeah, I’m back to normal. I mean, I was always good," Onwuzurike said. "It was just more the Lions trying to take care of me. Make sure I got better, no matter what. It’s no fear. It’s more like, ‘Okay, they’re trying to take care of me.’ It’s like I got a little injury. I can make it better, so I play better. Obviously, I was annoyed that I couldn’t come out here and play. But, I think they made the right decision.”