Three wins is certainly not good enough for the Detroit Lions moving forward, and there's an expectation that Detroit will be much better in 2020.
To make that a reality, the Lions will need a good offseason, starting with free agency in March and then the draft in April.
They'll also need some of their young players to take the right steps in their development. With that in mind, here are 10 players to keep an eye on in that regard:
1. Kerryon Johnson, RB
Johnson joined Barry Sanders as the only players in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards and average better than 4.5 yards per carry in their first 18 career games. It's not a talent issue with Johnson, but rather an availability issue. He's landed on IR in each of his first two seasons with knee injuries, costing him 14 games. Johnson needs to prove he can stay healthy and be an impact player for an entire season.
2. T.J. Hockenson, TE
Hockenson had a breakout debut Week 1 with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed 50 receiving yards in just one other contest all year, and missed the final four games of the season with an ankle injury. We rarely see tight ends come into this league and light it on fire their rookie year, but there are a lot of examples of players taking off in year two. George Kittle and Travis Kelce are among those names.
3. Da’Shawn Hand, DL
The 2019 season was essentially a lost one for Hand, as injuries allowed him to play in only three contests. Hand was graded the top interior rookie defender by Pro Football Focus in 2018, and unfortunately, we didn't get to see what a healthy Hand could do in year two. Lions GM Bob Quinn admitted after the season that losing Hand was a blow to the defense. Detroit could have used his athleticism and pass-rush ability from the interior. Hand said after the year he was going to get back to work pretty quickly preparing for 2020.
4. Jahlani Tavai, LB
Tavai was thrown into the mix very early as a rookie, and that should serve him well heading into his second season. He recorded 58 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He was the only rookie in the NFL to post at least 50 tackles, five tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and one interception this season. He was a versatile player that could line up at any linebacker spot. I expect Tavai to play an even bigger role in 2020, potentially pushing Jarrad Davis or Christian Jones for a starting spot. The Lions need more players on the field that can get to the quarterback and find the ball. Tavai showed he can do that as a rookie.
5. Will Harris, S
Detroit wanted to get Harris more involved in the defense, and that was one of the reasons veteran Quandre Diggs was traded to Seattle midseason. Harris played in all 16 games as a rookie with six starts. He finished with 36 tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and three defended passes. The Lions like Harris' size and speed. He should compete for a starting safety spot alongside Tracy Walker at safety in 2020.
6. Bo Scarbrough, RB
Scarbrough got a chance to finally play in his second season in the league when injuries took their toll on Detroit's backfield. He responded by averaging 4.2 yards per carry through his six games (5 starts). His 377 rushing yards ranked fifth in the NFL among a player's first six career games since 2018. Scarbrough is a big back (6-1, 235), who runs north and south. He's a good complement to Johnson.
7. Amani Oruwariye, CB
The Lions are likely to add to the cornerback position via free agency or the draft this offseason - maybe both - and that could leave Oruwariye in a position to have to compete for playing time in 2020. Oruwariye has terrific length (6-2, 205). He became the first Lions rookie since 2010 to total two interceptions in their debut season. Oruwariye had a strong debut Week 11 in Dallas, and played well the following week in Washington, too. In seven games, he allowed 212 receiving yards in his coverage (30.3 average per game) with three touchdowns.
View photos of the Detroit Lions' rushing touchdowns during the 2019 season.
8. Beau Benzschawel, G
The undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin didn't see any game action as a rookie, but with Graham Glasgow, Kenny Wiggins and Oday Aboushi all set to hit free agency, the Lions could be on the lookout for a starter or key reserve at guard next season. Benzschawel did a good job in the weight room this season and also learned to play center. Depending on how much confidence the Lions have that Benzschawel can make a jump in year two will factor into how hard they pursue an interior offensive lineman in free agency and the draft.
9. Austin Bryant, DE
Detroit's fourth-round pick last year suffered an arm injury in training camp and spent a good portion of his rookie season on IR. He ended up playing in just four games will little impact. The Lions lacked a consistent pass rush all season, something they'll no-doubt address this offseason. Bryant has a unique frame (6-6, 261) and skillset, and could turn into a nice pass-rushing rotational player with a good offseason and training camp.
10. Tyrell Crosby, T
Crosby's been Detroit's swing tackle his first two seasons in the league, but when given an opportunity to start over the last two years, he's done a pretty job. He was particularly good starting at right tackle in place of veteran Rick Wagner to end this past season. It begs the question: Is Crosby ready for a bigger role? A starting role? Can he push Wagner for the starting right tackle spot? It's about that time in his career to see if he can make a jump.