After the Detroit Lions went a disappointing 4-12 last season, they will need to step up as a team to bounce back this season. Of course, we all know it’s a given that Calvin Johnson will have another great season barring any injuries. I also expect Reggie Bush to have a great season in his first year as a Lion. He’s going to be a big threat coming out of the backfield both as a running back and as a receiver.

These are the players that are to be expected to play big this year, but who will be the break out star? Well, this may not be too daring an answer, but it’s going to be first round pick Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah. Although, he was a bit of a gamble, I see him breaking out for an amazing season. Ansah was drafted by the Detroit Lions, in the first round, with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. At the NFL combine he measured a 34.5 inch vertical jump and a recorded a 4.63 seconds 40 yard dash. He also has size at 6’5”, 271 lbs. What helps his case is that he is playing with tremendous talent in the defensive line with Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Jason Jones, Israel Idonije and rookie Devin Taylor in the mix. The Lions front line has the potential to dominant this year.

One thing is for sure, Ansah will shine this year. He is athletic, big and fast. He’s also a very quick learner, which is a plus. He learns from his mistakes and corrects them quickly. He’s been looking sharp in the preseason thus far. Against the New York Jets, Ansah who started at right defensive end, intercepted a pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown. Then against the New England Patriots, the former BYU defensive end, recovered a fumble early in the second quarter.  I know you may say that this is just preseason, but the fact is it’s still impressive.

Ansah is too big to ignore. He’s a great pass rusher as well, which is what the Lions have had trouble with the last couple of years. He’s also got what you can’t teach, instincts. I see this defensive line having a great season. I also see Ansah breaking out as the Defensive Rookie of The Year. Look out for sacks, tackles, fumbles recoveries and yes, even interceptions this year for the big man.