Sunday open topic: Who will lead the Lions in the bags in 2022?


After finishing near the bottom of the league last year in sacks (30th) and pressures (29th), the Detroit Lions have made it a point to invest heavily in their passing rush this offseason. Two first choices in the NFL Draft were spent on the defensive line, adding Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal in the first and second rounds, respectively. On paper, they look much better on the defensive front right now than they did a year ago.

At Edge rusher, the Lions return their best sack getter of last year to Charles Harris along with Julian Okwara, Austin Bryant and draft picks Hutchinson and Paschal. They will also pick up Romeo Okwara at some point, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles injury that kept him out for all of 2021. He led the team with 12 sacks in 2020.

Inside, the Lions field much the same unit as last year with Michael Brockers and Alim McNeil as projected starters, and Levi Onwuzurike, John Penisini, among others as reserves.

Today’s question of the day is…

Who will lead the Lions in the bags in 2022?

My answer: Aidan Hutchinson.

It might sound crazy to expect a rookie to come in and lead a team in sacks, but last year Charles Harris led the team with just 7.5 sacks. While I think there’s a lot more to it than just getting sacks, that number should be pretty attainable for a second overall pick like Hutchinson. In fact, Pro Football Focus even predicts that Hutchinson will lead all rookie rushers with 9.4 sacks and 57 pressures.

If it’s not Hutchinson, then I could see Harris having another great year after his career year last year. I don’t expect Romeo Okwara to post nearly the same numbers as in 2020 as Achilles injuries are quite difficult to recover from, but I wouldn’t completely count it.

A wildcard here is fellow rookie Josh Paschal. Hutchinson is likely to take most of the shots as the Lions rush in at the end, with Romeo Okwara filling in opposite him as their big defensive end. If Okwara misses out at any time during his recovery, Paschal could be next behind Okwara in that role, which should give him plenty of opportunities to move up to quarterback.

Your turn.


Who will lead the Lions in the bags in 2022?

  • 0%
    Aidan Hutchinson

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