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Amani Oruwariye

Getty Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye embraces a teammate after a 2021 game.

The Detroit Lions managed to scoop up Amani Oruwariye in the fifth-round of the NFL draft, and that move is looking like one of the savviest decisions the franchise has made in some time.

Oruwariye has developed into a ball-hawk at cornerback and continues to put up great stats for his team on the field. Looking back at the whole picture, it’s becoming clear he was also one of the biggest steals of his entire draft given how he has developed.

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As a recent tweet by CBS Sports showed, Oruwariye is near the top of the league in a few important categories, namely that of interceptions and quarterback rating allowed.

In spite of this, Oruwariye did not see any love for the Pro Bowl and hasn’t gotten much hype for what he’s done on the field. None of that will change what Lions fans feel about him and his play, however. It’s impossible not to notice what Oruwariye is doing on the field.

When a player selected with the 146th pick delivers these kind of results, he becomes harder and harder to ignore. Oruwariye, quite simply, is becoming elite.

Oruwariye to Lions: ‘Just Ball’ Rest of 2021

As Oruwariye said when speaking with the media on Monday, December 20, the mindset with the team right now is simply that of fighting no matter what. If the team isn’t going to be given a chance, just go out and play hard. Chris Burke of The Athletic tweeted about the comment.

“When your back’s against the wall and they don’t give you a chance anyway, what other choice do you have other than to just ball?,” Oruwariye said.

It’s not hard to see how that is a call to arms for the Lions down the stretch. The Lions want to see their team just keep plugging away and Oruwariye is a good example of that.

From the first game of the season, the Lions were immediately under fire at the key position in the defensive backfield. In the first game, they lost top cornerback Jeff Okudah to a season-ending injury. Detroit would go on to lose a key rookie in Ifeatu Melifonwu in the second week of the year. As a result of this, the team has asked youngsters like Jerry Jacobs, AJ Parker and Bobby Price to step up. All of them have done an admirable job for the team thus far this year, but arguably, Oruwariye has been the best and most consistent player on the field for the team.

It’s great to see him emerge as a statistical and emotional leader on the field in Detroit.

Oruwariye’s Career Stats and Highlights

During the 2019 season as he started into the league, Oruwariye didn’t do much statistically for the team early on as he battled a knee injury most of the early part of the year, and as a result, his stats weren’t that robust. Oruwariye finished 2019 with 2 interceptions and 19 tackles for the Lions, but has been a player who has delivered before given his work in college. During the 2020 season on the field, he has 53 tackles, 1 interception and 7 passes defended, meaning he was easily able to eclipse his statistical work from last season, setting him on a good trajectory for the future.

While playing for Penn State, Oruwariye put up 108 tackles and 8 interceptions while scoring 1 touchdown. Obviously, the Lions have to hope that as he comes along, Oruwariye can manage to become the ball hawk he was for the Nittany Lions for years. Here’s a look at some highlights:

Amani Oruwariye 2019-2020 highligthsDetroit Lions DB #242020-04-18T23:47:35Z

So far in Detroit, he’s shown an ability to step up and stick in coverage which is great news for the Lions. It only serves to prove how good Oruwariye has been consistently this season and how important he could be for the future.

Lions fans should be thanking Bob Quinn for this major draft steal.

READ NEXT: Lions Safety Proves Tight Bond With Jerry Jacobs Tweet

Source: Heavy

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