1.) What are your expectations for WR Quintez Cephus in his second season with Detroit?
Vito Chirco: He's definitely due for a bigger role, with Detroit's top three wide receivers from 2020 -- Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola -- all having expiring contracts.
I also think that new Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El, who suited up for nine NFL seasons, will help Cephus take a step forward in his development as a wideout in his second season in the league.
Cephus recorded 20 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns in 2020.
So, in 2021, I expect the Wisconsin product to amass at least 500 reception yards and four scores. I don't think that'll be too much to ask of Cephus in his second year as a pro.
Logan Lamorandier: Cephus exceeded my expectations last year from a statistical standpoint. But, that may also be because of Kenny Golladay missing so much time, as well.
In 2021, if Cephus can win a full-time starting gig, his numbers should improve by default.
Ultimately, I want to see Cephus be a little more reliable catching the ball and improve his consistency from last season. My expectations are around 45 receptions for 600 yards in his expanded role.
Adam Strozynski: At this point, Cephus is the guy at wide out, as Kenny Golladay is in contract purgatory.
Toward the end of last year, he really showed what he could be, as he gained the confidence of Matthew Stafford.
2.) Okay, beside for LB Micah Parsons, give me two-three defensive players the Lions could draft at No. 7 that you would be satisfied with.
Chirco: I'm all about upgrading the Lions' defensive line and specifically their porous pass-rushing unit from a year ago. So, for me, if it's not Parsons, I would take a hard look at EDGE rushers Kwity Paye, from Michigan, and Gregory Rousseau, from Miami, Fla. They might not exactly be No. 7 pick-worthy players. But, each of them would certainly upgrade a major area of need for Detroit.
Lamorandier: There are plenty of players every year that go outside of the top 10 and outperform the top picks.
Depending on how their pro days go, I could see some pass-rushers improving their draft stock. It's a premium position, and teams covet athleticism on the edge. Guys like Kwity Paye or Azeez Ojulari could be in the equation in the top 10, if they can knock their testing out of the park.
Lastly, I don't think the Lions need a corner, but they should draft the best player available. I'm starting to warm up to Caleb Farely. He has elite size and speed.
Strozynski: Obviously, Parsons gets all the talk, but don't be surprised if Patrick Surtain II is an option.
Cornerback is always a position that needs a lot of depth on your roster.
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Miami (Fla.)'s Gregory Rousseau and Alabama's Christian Barmore are two guys that could help strengthen this defensive line at pick 7. Any one of these guys could help contribute to this team next year.
3.) How much confidence do you have that Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye will continue to develop and be productive members of the Lions' secondary?
Chirco: I'm not going to say I'm very confident, based on how porous Okudah's pass coverage skills were during his rookie campaign. It's easier to be confident in Oruwariye, as he was consistently Detroit's best cover corner from start to finish last year.
In my opinion, the organization is trying its best to put Okudah and Oruwariye both in a position to succeed in 2021. Adding former NFL cornerback and New Orleans Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn to Dan Campbell's staff as defensive coordinator and tabbing former L.A. Rams DBs coach Aubrey Pleasant to the same position on Campbell's staff were well-regarded moves by the organization.
But, as much as they should be expected to aid in the development of the two aforementioned young corners, a large degree of how successful Okudah and Oruwariye will be in 2021 is dependent upon whether or not they can adequately play the position at the NFL level.
And clearly, the verdict is still out regarding whether Okudah is going to be a starting-caliber corner in the league.
Lamorandier: With Okudah, I don't think he could get much worse then last year. The new scheme, more experience and getting completely healthy should go a long way for him.
My confidence level for some improvement is pretty high. Not saying a Pro Bowl-level player in year two, but maybe a season like Oruwariye had last season.
Speaking of Oruwariye, he was another draft prospect I really liked coming into the NFL. Matt Patricia's scheme didn't do these young corners any favors, and I think both will be improved just by being in a new system.
Strozynski: Look, Okudah really has to take a step forward. Whether it was injury, a lack of confidence or something else, he has to be better. I think he will be, but I'm not sure how much.
Oruwariye has been impressive since day one. Not a lot was expected out of him, and I think he was a sneaky pick two years ago in the fifth round. I think he takes another step forward this year, and contributes to a revamped defense.
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