The Detroit Lions are getting set for Training Camp, with the first day starting July 29th, so we are 16 days away from the first Lions practice of the 2023 season. Today we will preview the Edge rushers for the Lions after we did the Defensive Tackles yesterday. Unlike the Tackles, the Edge has more players that are locks to make the team and just two who are not locks.
Detroit Lions Training Camp Roster Preview: Edge Rusher Locks
Hutchinson was drafted by the Lions second overall in 2022, and he had a fantastic rookie season for the Lions last year. Hutchinson played in every game for the Lions last season, and he recorded three interceptions, 9.5 sacks which were the most on the team, and tied for 20th most in the league; he also had 52 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and 15 quarterback hits. The Detroit Lions did not miss when they drafted Hutchinson, and he is primed for a huge 2023.
Houston had a breakout rookie season once he was promoted from the practice squad. He was drafted by the Lions 217th overall in the 2022 draft, and he would play in seven games, recording one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and eight sacks, good enough for second on the team; he also had 12 total tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and 11 quarterback hits. That’s a great stat line for only seven games; now imagine what Houston can do if he plays a full season.
Harris is entering his seventh season in the league and his third with the Lions. Harris was drafted by the Miami Dolphins 22nd overall in the 2017 NFL Draft; he has played in 77 games recording 15 sacks, 158 total tackles, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 25 tackles for a loss, and 48 hits on the Quarterback. Last season with the Lions, Harris only played in six games before being placed on the IR; he had just one sack, 14 tackles, two tackles for a loss, and four quarterback hits.
Cominsky is entering his fifth season in the league and second with the Detroit Lions after starting his career with the Atlanta Falcons. Cominsky played 14 games last season for the Lions, the most games he’s played in a season in his career; he forced a fumble, had four sacks, 30 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, and 12 hits on the Quarterback. He will be a nice compliment for when Hutchinson comes off the field.
Okwara is entering his eighth season in the league and his sixth with the Lions. Okwara started with the New York Giants before the Lions signed him in 2018. He played in only five games last year, finishing with two sacks, eight tackles, two tackles for a loss, and two hits on the Quarterback.
Paschal was drafted by the Lions 46th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. In his rookie season last year, Paschal played ten games after being hurt to start the year; he had two sacks, 16 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, and four quarterback hits. He will likely be at the end of the depth chart when the Lions start the regular season, but he is a lock to make the team.
Detroit Lions Training Camp Roster Preview: Edge Rusher Fighting for a Spot
Okwara, unlike his brother, is not a lock to make the team, he was drafted by the Lions 67th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and this will be his fourth season with the Lions. Last season he played in ten games before being placed on IR in December, which ended his season; before that, he had two sacks, 17 total tackles, three tackles for a loss, and three quarterback hits.
Morton is also not a lock to make the Lions' roster out of camp; Morton was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent by the Lions out of Akron University. For the Zips last season Morton was second on the team with 4.5 sacks; he had 28 total tackles, one interception, and two forced fumbles.
Bottom Line: Detroit Lions Edge Position will be fun to watch in 2023
The Detroit Lions last season had 39 total sacks, and the Edge Rushers accounted for 28.5 of those; this is an exciting group that should see more progress in getting to the Quarterback, and they should see those sack numbers rise. Hutchinson and Houston are projected to be the starters when camp breaks and the season starts, and after they combined for 17.5 sacks last season, they should be the great duo to watch in 2023; their first test wont be easy against Patrick Mahomes, but it’ll be a sign of things to come in 2023 if they can get to him and make life tough.
There are four quarterbacks the Lions will face this season that, if the edge rushers can get to them, then it will help the Lions' secondary force turnovers. Those quarterbacks are Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, and Dak Prescott.