Sad news: The head coach signed after the player was injured and left the……

It’s time to reflect on the Detroit Lions’ 2023 season now that it has concluded for all 32 clubs. It was a historic season for many reasons, and both the positive aspects and the tragic conclusion are probably going to stick in your memory forever.

Let’s honor the good, nevertheless, for the time being, with our 2023 Pride of Detroit Awards. This is how it operates: There are ten categories in which to present awards. They are as follows:

2022 Detroit Lions awards: Breakout Player of the Year - Pride Of Detroit

Over the course of the next ten days, our staff will select the winners of each award. But, a poll at the conclusion of each post will allow you, the reader, to determine the real “winner.”

Throughout the most of his NFL career, Melifonwu has struggled with injuries, which has prevented him from ever really breaking out and having any major moments. He has been in good health this year and has utilized his time on the field. This defense needs someone who can do it all—someone who is more than just a run stopper or coverage safety. Every level of playmaker can make a team hard to stop.

There is no lack of possibilities for the Lions, and although I would prefer to select someone who isn’t a rookie, I have to choose LaPorta. LaPorta not only broke the single-season receiving record for tight ends in the Lions (by more than 100 yards), but he accomplished it as a rookie. Simply put, rookie tight ends don’t play as well as he did. Kyle Pitts, a fourth-overall pick who played more receiver snaps than inline snaps, is the only recent comparison. LaPorta excited a lot of us, but none of us anticipated his rapid development.

The Lions have plenty of options, and although though I would rather pick a player who isn’t a rookie, I have to go with LaPorta. Not only did LaPorta surpass the tight end record for most receiving yards in a season (by over 100 yards), but he did so as a rookie. To put it plainly, rookie tight ends don’t perform to his level. The closest recent comparison is Kyle Pitts, a fourth-overall pick who saw more receiver snaps than inline snaps. Many of us were excited about LaPorta, but none of us saw his quick development coming.

Melifonwu was one of the most crucial members of the Lions defense in the latter stages of the season, even if it took him some time to get rolling. He had all the physical attributes needed to be a successful safety in the modern NFL, and once he began playing as a starter, he demonstrated his skills versus the pass and the run. And what’s so crazy about Melifonwu? He might not have reached the full extent of his talent as a safety.

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