Pro Football Focus predicts breakout player for 2023 Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have a talented roster with players poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming season. Pro Football Focus has identified a potential breakout player for the Lions, and his name is James Houston IV. Despite flying under the radar in 2022, Houston showcased his skills and left a lasting impression with his impressive performance.

2023 Detroit Lions Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Football Focus

Pro Football Focus predicts breakout player for 2023 Detroit Lions

Here is what Pro Football Focus has to say about Houston potentially becoming a breakout player for the Lions.

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Rookie edge defender Aidan Hutchinson got most of the attention in 2022, but classmate James Houston IV had a very impressive season, too. The sixth-round pick had to wait until Week 12 to get on to the field, but he finished the season strong, ultimately posting a pass-rush grade of 88.2 that would have ranked seventh among edge defenders had he played more snaps.

Over the last seven weeks of the season, he produced pressure on 18.5% of his pass-rushing snaps, eighth among 121 qualifying edge defenders.

James Houston's Impressive Rise

While much of the attention in 2022 was rightfully directed toward rookie edge defender Aidan Hutchinson, James Houston IV quietly displayed his own prowess on the field. As a sixth-round pick, Houston had to bide his time until Week 12 to see significant action. However, once given the opportunity, he seized it with both hands, making a strong impact on the field.

A Pass-Rushing Force

Houston's pass-rush abilities were particularly noteworthy, as reflected by his impressive pass-rush grade of 88.2. Had he played more snaps, this grade would have ranked him seventh among all edge defenders—a remarkable feat for a player who had to wait for his chance to shine. Houston's ability to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks showcased his knack for disrupting passing plays.

Finish Strong

Houston's performance over the last seven weeks of the season demonstrated his rapid growth and potential as a game-changing pass rusher. During this stretch, he displayed an impressive ability to generate pressure, producing it on an impressive 18.5% of his pass-rushing snaps. Among 121 qualifying edge defenders, this placed him eighth—a testament to his growing skills and impact on the field.

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A Breakout Season Ahead

With his strong finish to the 2022 season, Houston has undoubtedly caught the attention of the coaching staff and fans alike. Heading into the upcoming season, the stage is set for Houston to emerge as a breakout player for the Detroit Lions. Armed with his pass-rushing prowess and a hunger to make a significant impact, Houston is primed to take the NFL by storm.

Expectations and Excitement

Lions supporters can now eagerly anticipate watching Houston make his mark in the upcoming season. His ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and create havoc in the backfield will be a valuable asset to the Lions' defense. As Houston continues to develop and build upon his impressive performances, the Detroit faithful can look forward to witnessing his ascent and the impact he will undoubtedly have on the team's success.

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