How previous Detroit Lions players fared in the 2023 season’s first half…

A look at performances from D’Andre Swift, Jeff Okudah, and DeShon Elliott, among other former Detroit Lions players.

For our Detroit Lions former player roundup this week, we’re going to do things a little differently and recap the entire season of each player. This should allow us to get a more thorough examination of players who the Lions lost in this free agency (or after roster cuts).

If you want to catch up on former editions of this weekly post, check them out below:

Reminder: These are only players who were not brought back in 2023. For example, T.J. Hockenson was not included because we already saw him in a Vikings uniform in 2022. (He had six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, if you want to know so bad).

Week 7

RB D’Andre Swift — Eagles

Season stats: 117 carries, 571 yards (4.9 YPC), 3 TDs; 28 catches, 135 yards, 1 TD
Season PFF grade/rankings: 68.1 (33rd out of 54 qualifying RBs)
Week 8 stats: 15 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD

Swift is enjoying the best season of his career by a pretty significant margin. Just eight games through the year, he is already only 46 rushing yards away from his season high (617), and his 4.9 yards per carry is the second highest of his career (5.5 in 2022).

However, his efficiency in the run game has slowed down considerably as of late:

Weeks 1-4: 59 carries, 364 yards (6.2 YPC)
Weeks 5-8: 58 carries, 207 yards (3.6 YPC)

RB Jamaal Williams — Saints

Season stats: 38 carries, 118 yards (3.1 YPC) 0 TDs; 3 catches, 15 yards
Season PFF grade: 56.1 (54th out of 59 qualifying RBs)+
Week 8 stats: 6 carries, 30 yards; 1 catch, 8 yards

Williams missed four games due to a hamstring, but he hasn’t been much of a factor since his return in Week 6. With Alvin Kamara back from suspension, Williams is averaging just six touches a game, and after setting the Lions’ franchise record for touchdowns in a season, he is still seeking his first end zone trip in New Orleans this year.

WR DJ Chark — Panthers

Season stats: 15 catches, 220 yards, 2 TDs
Season PFF grade: 55.9 (100th out of 120 qualifying WRs)+
Week 8 stats: 4 catches, 23 yards

In six game appearances, Chark hasn’t been much of a factor in most of them. He only has two games in which he tallied more than 30 receiving yards—his 42-yard performance against Detroit, and a very solid 86-yard game against the Seahawks.

Of course, Chark is playing with a rookie quarterback, so this dip in production is understandable.

C Evan Brown — Seahawks

Season PFF grade: 62.0 (21st out of 38 qualifying centers)+
Week 8 grade: 61.8

In his first season as the designated full-time starter, Brown has been phenomenal as a pass blocker. He’s allowed just eight total pressures and no sacks, earning a 72.1 pass blocking grade from PFF—seventh-best in the NFL among centers. He’s struggled as a run-blocker, though.

Thankfully, Brown is back in action after missing Week 7 with a hip injury.

LB Josh Woods — Cardinals

Season stats: 11 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble
Season PFF grade: 42.5 (80th out of 80 qualifying LBs)
Week 8 stats: 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Woods missed three games this year, but in the other five he’s been a big part of the Cardinals’ defensive gameplan, playing at least 30 snaps in each game and starting three games.

But… as the PFF grade suggests, it’s been a bit of a rough go for Woods in his first year as a significant defensive contributor. The good news is that his PFF grade is being bogged down by his first two games. He’s actually graded 69.7 or higher in each of his last three games, signaling that he’s turning things around.

LB Chris Board — Patriots

Season stats: 4 tackles
Season PFF grade: 65.2 special teams grade
Week 8 stats: N/A

Board has just a single defensive snap through eight weeks, but he’s a four-phase special teamer for the Patriots.

CB Mike Hughes — Falcons

Season stats: 4 tackles, 11 punt returns, 67 yards; 3 kick returns, 46 yards
Season PFF grade: 61.9 special teams grade
Week 8 stats: 1 punt return, 6 yards; 1 tackle

Like Board, Hughes has primarily been a specialist for the Falcons. He has a total of 52 defensive snaps on the year. As a punt returner, he hasn’t made much of an impact yet, either, averaging just 6.1 yards per return.

CB Jeff Okudah — Falcons

Season stats: 21 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 passes defended
Season PFF grade: 62.5 PFF grade (58th out of 116 qualifying CBs)
Week 8 stats: 4 tackles, 1 TFL

Okudah has now made five straight starts for the Falcons, as he’s fully healthy from his training camp injury. He’s been playing solidly and getting some very high praise from his coaches, too.

CB Starling Thomas — Cardinals

Season stats: 5 tackles, 2 passes defended
Season PFF grade: 59.4 (not enough snaps to qualify)
Week 8 stats: 1 tackles, 1 pass breakup

Thomas has only played in four games and started one. After getting his first defensive start in Week 7, he only played sparingly in Week 8. That said, in just 25 snaps against the Ravens, Thomas did tally his second pass breakup of the season and a FANTASTIC 84.6 PFF grade.

S DeShon Elliott — Dolphins

Season stats: 43 tackles, 4 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery
Season PFF grade: 80.0 (8th among 87 qualifying safeties)
Week 8 stats: 6 tackles, 1 pass defended

Out of everyone on this list, Elliott may be having the best season away from Detroit. We knew Elliott was a force as a run defender, but he’s been a very well-rounded player in Miami. In coverage, he’s allowed just four catches on 10 targets for 52 yards with four pass breakups. I mean, look at this play from last week:

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