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Notes: 3 Lions make The Athletic’s ‘Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team’

Despite early season struggles, the Lions land three rookies on The Athletic’s ‘Midseason All-Rookie Team’

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, you have heard it all before. You have to be patient during a rebuild. Playing young players comes with growing pains. And through eight games of the 2022 NFL season, the Detroit Lions are well aware of that. It hasn’t been pretty, but if their performance in Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers was any indication of things moving forward, then I would say the Lions are in a fine place, despite only being 2-6 on the year.

If you don’t keep up with the Lions on a week-to-week basis, then I would understand how you might be surprised that they have three defenders on The Athletic’s ‘Midseason All-Rookie Team.

Because of how general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell have elected to build out this roster through two years, they were forced to go very young—particularly on the defensive side of the football. Led by the number two overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Aidan Hutchinson leads all rookies with 4.5 sacks on the year.

Beyond Hutchinson, the Lions are getting major contributions from several other rookies—including linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez.

Hard Knocks” star Malcolm Rodriguez has been a bright spot on a rough Detroit defense,” the ensemble piece from The Athletic said. “He hasn’t seen nearly as many total snaps or reps firing back in coverage as Lloyd, but he’s still banking stats (54 tackles, five tackles for loss, three QB hits, one forced fumble and recovery).”

Safety Kerby Joseph had a few strong weeks in a row before his monster game against the Packers, and second-round pick Josh Paschal may have very well been on this list too, had it not been for an injury that kept him sidelined to start the year.

This was always the Lions plan. Lean into the youth, let them learn on the job, and soak up all of the invaluable experience they possibly can. So when it is time for the Lions to compete, their young core is already (somewhat) battle-tested.

And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • Just how open was tight end Shane Zylstra on his touchdown grab against the Packers? The answer might surprise you.

  • Don’t look now, but Hutchinson currently leads all rookies in pass-rush win rate.

  • Kerby Joseph is him.