How 'Old' Exactly Are Our Lions?

Earlier today, the Mother Ship ESPN analyst Mike Sando dished out a chart that showed that the Detroit Lions are the fourth oldest team in the NFL. (Hat tip to Joshsun for the FanPost.) Now, I had a hard time believing that the Lions were that old seeing how most of the starters were drafted in the last three years. Either way, I decided to do my own research and find out exactly how "old" they are.

For the numbers below, I have accounted for the release of Chris Morris and Aaron Brown and also accounted for the addition of Jacques McClendon:

  • Average age of the team: 26.4 years
  • Average experience of the team: 4.1 seasons
  • Average age of all offensive players: 27.5 years
  • Average experience of all offensive players: 4.5 seasons
  • Average age of all defensive players: 26.4 years
  • Average experience of all defensive players: 3.3 seasons
More after the jump ...

Below is the full chart of all the current Lions players, their age and their NFL experience. Following that is an age and experience breakdown for each position. Projected starters are in italics:

Quarterbacks

Age

Exp.

Defensive Ends

Age

Exp.

Matthew Stafford

23

2

Kyle Vanden Bosch

32

9

Shaun Hill

31

5

Cliff Avril

25

3

Drew Stanton

27

3

Lawrence Jackson

26

3

Running  Backs

Age

Exp.

Willie Young

25

1

Jahvid Best

22

1

Defensive Tackles

Age

Exp.

Maurice Morris

31

9

Ndamukong Suh

24

1

Jerome Harrison

28

5

Nick Fairley

23

0

Wide Receivers

Age

Exp.

Corey Williams

31

7

Calvin Johnson

25

4

Sammie Hill

24

2

Nate Burleson

30

8

Andre Fluellen

26

3

Titus Young

22

0

Middle Linebackers

Age

Exp.

Rashied Davis

32

6

Stephen Tulloch

26

5

Maurice Stovall

26

5

Isaiah Ekejiuba

29

6

Stefan Logan

30

2

Outside Linebackers

Age

Exp.

Tight Ends

Age

Exp.

Justin Durant

25

4

Brandon Pettigrew

26

2

Bobby Carpenter

28

5

Tony Scheffler

28

5

Ashlee Palmer

25

2

Will Heller

30

8

Doug Hogue

22

0

Tackles

Age

Exp.

DeAndre Levy

24

2

Jeff Backus

33

10

Cornerbacks

Age

Exp.

Gosder Cherilus

27

3

Alphonso Smith

25

2

Jason Fox

23

1

Eric Wright

26

4

Corey Hilliard

26

3

Chris Houston

26

4

Guards

Age

Exp.

Aaron Berry

23

1

Rob Sims

27

5

Brandon McDonald

26

4

Stephen Peterman

29

6

Safeties

Age

Exp.

Jacques McClendon

23

1

Louis Delmas

24

2

Centers

Age

Exp.

Amari Spievey

23

1

Dominic Raiola

32

10

Erik Coleman

29

7

Dylan Gandy

29

5

John Wendling

28

4

Specialists

Age

Exp.

Jason Hanson

41

19

Ryan Donahue

23

0

Don Muhlbach

30

7

As you may have noticed, there are only seven players over thirty on the entire roster. That means only 13.2% of the entire roster is above 30. Around this time last year, I wrote a similar post, and 17% of the entire roster was above 30. The average age of the roster last year after cuts was also 26.4, so the Lions have actually gotten a bit younger this offseason.

Not surprisingly, the offensive starters as a whole are older and more experienced as compared to last season. Last year, the offensive starters were about 26 (25.7) years old. This season, they are 27.5 years on average and have 5.1 years of experience. Last season, they only had 3.9 seasons of NFL experience on average. You may have noticed how the average experience went up by almost exactly a whole season; that is because the Lions starting offensive unit has stayed the same for the first time since I can remember being a Lions fan. The only real change is that they are no longer featuring a fullback, which is why I didn’t account for one when I did my number crunching.

On the other hand, the Lions actually didn’t get any more experience on the defensive side of the ball. The Lions defense had starters averaging 3.3 seasons of NFL experience last season, and that is exactly what they are averaging right now. Most of that can be attributed to the deletion of a dinosaur like Julian Peterson and the releasing of veteran C.C. Brown. Not having those two players pretty much made up for any increase in experience by the rest of the defense.

Below are the average age and experience of the Lions players broken down by position:

Average Age By Position

Age

Exp.

Quarterbacks

27

3.3

Running Backs

27

5

Wide Receivers

27.5

4.2

Tight Ends

28

5

Tackles

27.25

4.3

Guards

26.33

4

Centers

30.5

7.5

Defensive Ends

27

4

Defensive Tackles

25.6

2.6

Middle Linebackers

27.5

5.5

Outside Linebackers

24.8

2.6

ALL Linebackers

25.57

3.4

Cornerbacks

25.2

3

Safeties

26

3.5

Specialists

31.33

8.7

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