Lions offseason questions: Breakout player

The Detroit Lions are moving on to the next phase of the offseason workout program with OTAs beginning this week.

With a new year comes new opportunity for every player on the Lions' roster. Which Lion could be poised for a breakout season? I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:

Tim Twentyman: Running back D’Andre Swift

I'm really looking forward to third-year running back D'Andre Swift having a breakout season in this offense. Swift topped 1,000 scrimmage yards last year, but missed four games due to a shoulder injury. At the time of the injury on Thanksgiving, Swift was leading all running backs in receptions.

He's going to be a massive part of the Lions' passing game, but he'll also be running behind a projected top five offensive line. Don't be surprised if Swift is a 1,000-yard rusher and tops 1,500 scrimmage yards, if he can stay healthy all year.

View photos from offseason workouts on Monday, May 23, 2022.

Mike O'Hara: Tackle Penei Sewell

Since the Lions drafted Sewell seventh overall in 2021 it's only been a matter of time for him to be recognized as one of the NFL's top offensive tackles.

It should not be a long wait for recognition to come his way. He made the All-Rookie team last year, and there is more to come for Sewell.

The Lions' offense has been set up to take a leap forward in 2022, with playmakers at wide receiver, tight end and running back. When the offense is rolling, credit goes to the offensive line for opening holes and giving the quarterback time to throw.

Center Frank Ragnow (2020) and guard Jonah Jackson (2021) already have made one Pro Bowl. There's room for a third.

Sewell has the talent and work ethic to make it three.

View photos from Day 1 of Detroit Lions OTA practices on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in Allen Park, Mich.

We saw what Hockenson can do in a full season in 2020 when he made the Pro Bowl. And while we saw flashes of that Pro Bowl player last season, Hockenson wasn't as consistent and drew a lot of opponent coverage. Injuries also played a factor as he suffered a season-ending hand injury in December that required surgery.

I think we'll see Hockenson get back to his Pro Bowl form this year, with the potential to surpass his career season totals of receptions (67), yards (723) and touchdowns (6) set in 2020.

The Lions invested in their skill position players on offense this offseason, bringing in wide receiver DJ Chark via free agency and trading up in the draft to select wide receiver Jameson Williams in the first round. Both players have the ability to stretch the field, which should open up even more opportunities for Hockenson.

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