It isn’t often a rookie makes the All-Pro team, but Jamal Agnew was able to accomplish that feat for the Detroit Lions last year as a punt returner. Agnew led the NFL in both punt return average (15.4) and touchdowns (2).
He was also used some on offense as a ball carrier, receiver and decoy because of his speed and open-field running ability.
As a cornerback, which is the position the Lions drafted Agnew at, he saw limited playing time as a rookie. In fact, he played just 12 snaps on defense the first 16 weeks of the season before getting an extended look – 57 of 68 snaps – in Detroit’s Week 17 win over Green Bay. He had four tackles in that contest.
Now in his second season, Agnew would also like to make a bigger impact on defense if possible.
“I was blessed to be an All-Pro last year as a rookie,” he said Monday. “That’s awesome, but it’s a new year. That’s 2017. We’re in 2018 now. None of that matters anymore. You really just have to focus on always finding that one little niche that can take you to the next level that can get you better.”
For Agnew, it’s things like flexibility, footwork, eye discipline and some of those finer details he’s hoping make him a better cornerback in year two, and one that can contribute more in that role.