Detroit Lions: Breakout Candidate – DT Kerry Hyder
The pass rush of the 2016 Detroit Lions was something short of spectacular. Especially when you have players like Ziggy Ansah, A’Shawn Robinson, and Haloti Ngata on your front four. These players should be making meeting plans at the quarterback. Nevertheless, when you only get 5.5 sacks from your starting four something has to give. That something was reserve lineman Kerry Hyder.
The Detroit Lions acquired Hyder as a free agent in 2015. The 6’2”, 280lb DT played his college ball at Texas Tech. Hyder was a tackling machine in college. He had 176 tackles in four years. He ended with 34 tackles for loss which placed him 19th in the Big 12. Finally, he ended his college career with 11 sacks.
Hyder played in all 16 games of the 2016 season. He started two of those games. What is surprising is that with all of the stars previously mentioned, it is Hyder who led the team in sacks. He had eight sacks in 2016. Here is the kicker. He was not even a starter.
There is no reason why Kerry Hyder could not expand on these totals. He has excellent hands to shed blocks and get into the opposing team’s backfield. He has a strong motor that allows him to beat a double team. He truly benefits from playing around stars such as Ansah and Ngata.
I look for Hyder to continue his uphill success. There is only one question remaining for this kid. Will he become a starter in 2017? Having to compete with guys like Robinson, Ngata, Ansah, and the free agent signing of Cornelius Washington will make it tough. However, competition breeds success. This will only make him work harder and make Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator, Teryl Austin get this guy on the field.
The Detroit Lions need to find a way to create pressure on the QB. They are not getting it done with their star players. So why find a way to let players like Hyder make an impact on your team. Especially when they are as successful as Kerry Hyder was in 2016.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.