The 2022 class of Detroit Lions rookies had a strong season to say the very least and they’re getting noticed for it.
A group of writers at The Athletic put their heads together to create an NFL All-Rookie Team. Three Lions made the squad—all from the defense.
First up, it’s no surprise that edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson made the cut. After all, he recorded the highest number of sacks among all rookies at 9.5, including two on Aaron Rodgers in the season finale. Plus, he’s now the first Lions rookie to win Defensive Rookie of the Month twice — once in November and again for the combined months of December and January. Plus, he set the NFL record for the most interceptions by a rookie defensive lineman at three. The list goes on and on.
“Playing edge in the NFL is hard, so it’s no surprise the rookies here needed a stretch of games to come into their own. The whole crop really heated up as the days got colder. Aidan Hutchinson started to get home and affect the quarterback more consistently, en route to 9.5 sacks,” the article says.
Also making the list, “Hard Knocks” darling Malcolm Rodriguez. The linebacker proved to be an absolute steal and a solid starter.
“In an evolving league, the learning curve for second-level defenders is growing steeper, so it’s no surprise the best performers at linebacker were the ones with the explosive burst and length to recover in time to make plays. Malcolm Rodriguez may have the best per-snap production of all the rookie linebackers: 58 solo tackles (seven for loss) in just 584 defensive snaps.”
Finally, we have Aaron Rodgers’ kryptonite — safety Kerby Joseph.
“Jaquan Brisker and Kerby Joseph also established themselves as legitimate building blocks for teams that need to overhaul their defensive depth charts. ... Joseph flashed his range in huge games against the Packers, picking off Aaron Rodgers three times in two meetings.”
That’s the first time anyone in the NFL has picked off Rodgers three times in one season.
Also worth noting that defensive end James Houston got an honorable mention, so if you want to get technical, the Lions had a whopping four rookies mentioned in The Athletic’s article.
The Athletic crew isn’t the only one showing first-year Lions love on their All-Rookie teams.
QB: Brock Purdy— PFF (@PFF) January 12, 2023
Edge: Aidan Hutchinson
PFF’s All-Rookie Team ⬇️https://t.co/AcFeCCT0c0
And onto the rest of your notes.
- The season is officially over. MLive’s Benjamin Raven takes a look at the year as a whole and hands out some grades.
- It’s a packed room for Coach of the Year this season. Although there’s only one clear choice, The Athletic’s Mike Jones names Dan Campbell and six other coaches who could win the title. ($)
- The Lions’ 2023 opponents have been announced. Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman breaks it all down.
- Holy moly has the Lions' offense turned around! Around the NFL’s Marc Sessler ranks the league’s quarterback and Jared Goff cracked the top 10.
- It’s just about time to switch gears to thinking about the draft, especially for non-playoff contenders. CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards thinks the Lions may bolster the defensive line with the No. 6 pick.