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4 Lions Who Must 'Level Up' in 2021

Here are four Detroit Lions who must perform well for the team to have any chance of succeeding in 2021.

The Detroit Lions will need a myriad of things to go right in order to sniff even eight wins in the upcoming 2021 regular season. 

One of those things includes players on the present roster taking the next step, or "leveling up," in their respective careers. 

Let's take a look at four individuals who must "level up" in 2021 in order for the team to have any chance of success this season. 

QB Jared Goff

Goff will have a lot to prove in his first season in the Motor City. 

He's thrown no more than 22 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. 

And, in 2020, he threw a career-low 20 TD passes -- that is for a season in which he played in at least 15 games. 

He must level up and perform better, in order for the Lions to have any chance at being a competitive team in 2021. 

WR Quintez Cephus 

The second-year receiver has a great opportunity to take the next step in his career. 

No longer are veteran wideouts Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. standing in his way. Both departed the franchise this offseason, leading to a weaker receivers room in Detroit. 

Sure, the Lions did add Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman via free agency and USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown via this year's NFL Draft. However, they aren't of the caliber of Golladay and Jones. 

So, it leaves Cephus with a solid opportunity to emerge on to the scene in his sophomore campaign as an NFL wide receiver. 

OLB Julian Okwara 

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Okwara, a third-round draft pick of the Lions a year ago, failed to make much of an impact during his rookie season. He suffered a right leg injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6, and subsequently missed the majority of the season on injured reserve. 

He recorded a measly three total tackles in six games, including one tackle for loss. 

Meanwhile, his brother Romeo Okwara, also a member of the Lions, went on to produce a career year, with a career-high 10 sacks. 

Julian has a lot of catching up to do to get on Romeo's level, and maybe, just maybe, the sibling rivalry will motivate Juilian to level up in his second season as a pro. 

RB Jamaal Williams 

Williams, an offseason acquisition of the Lions, comes to Detroit from Green Bay. 

In four seasons with the Packers, Williams established a name for himself as a solid complementary piece, and he also consistently found a way to make an impact as a receiver. 

In 2020, he amassed 505 yards and two touchdowns on 119 carries, plus totaled 236 yards and a TD on 31 receptions. 

This upcoming season, he'll battle D'Andre Swift for No.1 running back duties; thus, leaving Williams with a great chance to take the next step in his career. 

I think he will make the most of the opportunity and level up in 2021. 

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