Top 20 impact players for the Lions in 2018 – #11

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In this series I’ll be going over who I think will be the top 20 impact players for the Lions in 2018, next up is Devon Kennard.


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As things stand I can see Devon Kennard being the teams only linebacker who is asked to pass rush on a consistent basis. From what we have seen of Jarrad Davis and Jalen Reevis-Maybin, they aren’t the pass rushing type of players. That leaves Kennard as the only guy who has the skill set to pass rush. That puts a lot of pressure on his shoulders as he will be a large piece of the defensive puzzle and someone opposing offenses will have to scheme around.

He is also very good at setting the edge when it comes to run defense, something Detroit have lacked in the years prior. People may argue that Whitehead was good against the run but he missed too many tackles and couldn’t hold his own against lineman like Kennard who is 26 lbs heavier. Also, if Matt Patricia uses the 3-3-5 or 3-4 that he favors, then he will be relying on the play-making ability of the pass rushing/run stuffing linebacker in Kennard’s position. You can see how effective he uses a linebacker, just look at Chandler Jones and how well he performed for the Patriots. The same with Detroit’s failure with Kyle Van Noy. Patricia has a knack of making linebackers become play-makers so I am excited to see what Kennard does in the coming year.

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The main reason Kennard is so high is that the Lions have been missing a linebacker with any pass rushing / edge creating ability in the past few seasons and it has shown when a team exploits that weakness. I think Kennard coming in will be a shock to the system for opposing teams. He may not have the best stats on paper come the end of the season but his presence alone on the field will make him a fan favorite.

List so far:

Rick Wagner – #20

Jamal Agnew – #19

Kerry Hyder – #18

Da’Shawn Hand – #17

Taylor Decker – #16

Frank Ragnow – #15

Matt Prater – #14

LeGarrette Blount – #13

Teez Tabor – #12

Thanks for checking out the article everyone. Go Lions! Let me know what you think on Twitter @Alex_Watt_Lions and be sure to join the community on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Alex Watt
Alex is a Detroit Lions fan from the UK, his love for the Lions came about from the fact he loves an underdog story and he believes the Lions embody that pretty well! He has a particular love for the defensive side of the ball and he favourite player is Darius "Big Play" Slay, although he has a soft spot for Glover Quin. When he isn't writing for the DetroitLionsPodcast he enjoys gym and sports, playing American Football himself.