Detroit Lions

Cliff Avril: Superstar in The Making

DETROIT - NOVEMBER 23:  Cliff Avril #92 of the Detroit Lions in action during the NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on November 23, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Buccaneers defeated the Lions 38-20.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SBContributor IMarch 21, 2009

Cliff Avril is a rising star.

Cliff Avril was drafted in the third Round, No. 92 overall, in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Purdue University. Avril was a steal at that pick. I presume he wears No. 92 for that reason.

As many of you already know, the Detroit Lions went 0-16 in 2008. But during that unforgettable or unmentionable season, the Lions had many bright spots. Avril was one of them.

Avril is a 3-4 OLB and was transformed into a 4-3 DE.

The Lions have shown that they highly regard Avril.

Avril has said, "After the season, I needed to relax. I was playing football for about two-and-a-half years it seemed like—I basically had three seasons in two years"

That's why I believe he wasn't able to live up to his full potential in his rookie season. With the addition of Peterson and the already super stud LB Ernie Sims, the 4-3 defense is looking good.

The Lions have filled many of their needs, and another star whose season was Cut short was Jordan Dizon out of Colorado. But that's another story for another time.

Avril likely will produce a bit better than his first season with Detroit, playing under two defensive masterminds in Gunther Cunningham and Jim Schwartz.

Avril will be a great asset to the Lions in the coming years. I will give 2009 a roll-off since he has to learn a whole new defensive playbook, but in 2010 I Expect a Ty Warren or John Abraham-type season out of Avril.

Mark it down, Cliff Avril will be a superstar, and he will be loved in Detroit.

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