On Thursday, our intrepid Kellie Rowe showed readers a smorgasbord of all-rookie team selections heaped onto Detroit’s first-year defenders. Those all-rookie team announcements included Pro Football Focus’ list, which had Aidan Hutchinson and Malcolm Rodriguez among the best at their positions. While both Rodrigo and Hutch had outstanding seasons, what about Kerby Joseph or James Houston?
No, Pro Football Focus did not forget about them. It’s just that Texans’ safety Jalen Pitre was a heck of a ballhawk this year, and Giants EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux had a lot of playing time. In spite of Houston finishing the year with a higher PFF score than Thibodeaux, quantity mattered I suppose. Nevertheless, PFF recognized how deep the quality of general manager Brad Holmes’ 2022 class was in their overall team rookie class rankings.
Trevor Sikkema posted an article on Thursday evaluating each team’s draft class as a whole, and the Detroit Lions ended up in third place behind only the New York Jets (Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson) and Seattle Seahawks (Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, Kenneth Walker). In the paragraph explaining the Lions’ ranking, Sikkema specifically called out the tremendous value contributed by both Joseph and Houston.
It’s great to see how much recognition the entire class has gotten. In fact, Kerby Joseph was a guest on CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome Show on Friday for a nine-minute segment:
Lions rookies played a higher share of the team’s defensive snaps than just three other teams (Bears, Texans, Chiefs) in 2022. Considering how high the quality was across the board, especially down the stretch when the wins began rolling in, we’re eager to see what they’ll be able to do in their second year. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- Seattle fans celebrated making the playoffs in a positive way:
The Detroit Lions would like to thank the Seattle Seahawks and their fanbase for donating nearly $20,000 to the Detroit Lions Foundation in celebration of our win over Green Bay last Sunday. @Seahawks @12s pic.twitter.com/bcWwF8JOH2— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 13, 2023
- MLive’s Ben Raven and Kyle Meinke posted the latest episode of their Dungeon of Doom podcast, in which they analyze five big things Brad Holmes said about the Lions’ season.
- From ESPN’s Seth Walder, we find out Aidan Hutchinson faced a brutal number of double-team blocks in his first season:
Double team rate at Edge (x) by pass rush win rate at Edge (y) for the 2022 NFL season.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) January 13, 2023
(ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats) pic.twitter.com/PDSa4L5xTs
- Justin Rogers at the Detroit News wrote about wide receiver DJ Chark’s desire to return to Detroit after a great run in the second half of the 2022 season.
- The Lions’ amazing media team posted a five-minute video of the best plays of the season complete with Dan Miller voiceovers, so you know it’s awesome:
- Speaking of that fantastic media team, there is an opportunity to work with them:
- A pair of articles from the 33rd team mentioned the Lions this week. First, former Vikings GM Jeff Diamond graded the biggest trade deadline deals from the point of view of both trade partners in each transaction. Diamond seemed to not notice the Lions' offense was doing fine in the second half of the season and dinged the Lions in the Hockenson trade.
- In the second article, former longtime Eagles President Joe Banner highlighted some fast-rising NFL head coaching candidates from the coordinator ranks. He has a Lions coordinator on his list, but it’s not the one most folks are probably thinking of.
- Love it:
Have some scandalous late Friday night Rodgers slander, brought to you by me, and the guy who commissioned it, who I dont think is on twitter pic.twitter.com/78dEqh0pT7— Dave Rappoccio (@DrawPlayDave) January 14, 2023
- In case you missed it, our fearless leader wrote about the rise of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy for the main SBNation football site.
- The season wrap-up episode of Twentyman in the Huddle was posted to the team’s official YouTube channel on Friday.
- We can’t wait for D’Andre Swift to come back at full strength in the 2023 season either, but until then everyone can wish him a Happy Birthday:
- Everybody is getting inspired by Dan Campbell, even in other sports. In an interview on 97.1’s Stoney and Jansen with Heather, Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said he was interested in having Campbell make an appearance to address his hockey team:
Lalonde said his PR guy contacted Campbell’s PR guy on Thursday to ask if Campbell would be willing to come speak to ‘Newsy’s’ team.
“And he told his PR guy, ‘Newsy does know I’ve only won 12 games here, doesn’t he?’ Self-deprecating, I thought it was hilarious,” said Lalonde. “Obviously he was on an 8-2 heater to finish the year, so he’s just fine.”