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Top 10 Detroit Lions players for the 2023 season

A look at the player we ranked in the top 10 on the Detroit Lions 2023 roster.

2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

We’ve reached the end of our countdown for the 2023 Detroit Lions roster. Our staff has ranked every single player on the roster from 91 to 1, and it’s time to reveal the top 10 players on the Lions roster.

Before we get into the list, a couple of interesting facts about this year’s top 10.

  • The top five players remain the same from last year’s list, but they are now in a very different order
  • Of the 10 players, two are completely new additions to the team
  • Of the 10 players, seven were drafted by the Lions. four were drafted by Brad Holmes (five if you include Jared Goff)
  • Of the 10 players, all 10 are below 30 years old, five are 25 or younger, and four are 23 or younger

Without further ado, the top 10 players on the 2023 roster.


Reminder: This list is based on the average of eight different Pride of Detroit staff members’ individual lists.

10. S Kerby Joseph (High: 4; Low: 12)

Last year’s ranking: 39

Among the top 10, no one took a bigger leap that Joseph. The third-round safety was expected to mostly be a reserve in his rookie season, seeing as the Lions had two established starters and Joseph was still relatively new to the position. Instead, injury forced Joseph into the lineup in the first month of the season, and by the end of the year, he was one of the biggest playmakers on defense.

Joseph still has plenty of room to grow, but when you tally four interceptions—and three of those come against Aaron Rodgers—you’re going to quickly become a fan favorite.

9. CB Cameron Sutton (High: 8; Low: 10)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

We’ve yet to see Sutton in a Lions jersey, but based on the reaction from Steelers media and fans after Detroit signed him in free agency, it became clear Detroit got a real one. Sutton may not come with flashy stats (eight interceptions in six years), but he’s been trending in the right direction as a starter for just the past three years, and he brings an essential amount of leadership and football IQ to a position that has lacked both in previous years.

8. QB Jared Goff (High: 5; Low: 11)

Last year’s ranking: 19

What a difference a year makes. At this time last season, many were wondering if Jared Goff was truly a “throw-in” for the Matthew Stafford trade. While he had finished 2021 with a relatively strong effort, the Lions offense was largely inefficient—particularly the passing game.

But, surprise surprise, invest in some weapons and your quarterback looks better! Of course, to only credit his supporting cast for Goff’s success would be a disservice to the quarterback himself. He played a big part in establishing and installing the offense with coordinator Ben Johnson, and his wise decision-making allowed him to avoid a single interception for the final nine games—a huge reason Detroit finished 8-2 down the stretch.

7. G Jonah Jackson (High: 5; Low: 11)

Last year’s ranking: 9

On an offensive line that features three first-round picks, Jackson often gets overlooked. He remains a key component to Detroit’s revamped rushing attacked. And while his pass protection is a bit more of a work in progress, he didn’t allow a single sack in 2022.

That being said, Jackson’s future in Detroit is a little bit of a mystery. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Jackson signed a long-term contract literally any day now. But at the same time, the Lions may be saving that money for extensions coming in the near future to players like Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell.

6. DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (High: 5; Low: 10)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

You can tell how important C.J. Gardner-Johnson’s addition to the team is by just going back and looking at the reaction to his injury scare earlier this week. Gardner-Johnson’s versatility and talent not only give the Lions so many different options with what they can do in their secondary, but his swag and attitude will clearly help this young defense play with a lot more confidence.

Oh, and NFL insiders think he’s a top-eight safety in the league.

5. OT Taylor Decker (High: 5; Low: 8)

Last year’s ranking: 3

The longest-tenured Detroit Lion on the team, it still somehow feels like Decker is underappreciated. Entering Year 8 of his career, Decker has achieved PFF pass blocking grades of 75.0 or higher in five straight seasons. His play may not be considered elite, but he has been an extremely reliable left tackle in this league, a fierce competitor, and strong leader in a tight offensive line room. There is a ton of value in each of those roles.

4. EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (High: 3; Low: 6)

Last year’s ranking: 5

Hutchinson just missed out on Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last year, after tallying 9.5 sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The fact that he didn’t make the top three in these rankings is more a sign that Detroit is finally starting to get some blue chip talent, because Hutchinson is already bordering on that classification himself as he enters Year 2.

3. C Frank Ragnow (High: 1; Low: 4)

Last year’s ranking: 1

For the past two seasons, Ragnow has been the unanimous No. 1 player on our list. It’d be easy to say that his toe injury over the past two seasons has caused him to fall in this list, but I’m not sure there’s anything Ragnow could have done to prevent this slide. It’s very much about the players who jumped him rather than the play of Ragnow himself.

In fact, Ragnow is coming off a highly successful season. He battled through that injury to play 16 games, and he finished with PFF’s fifth-highest grade among starting centers and made a Pro Bowl. If anything, Ragnow proved he’s a damn warrior last year.

t-1st. OT Penei Sewell (High: 1; Low: 3)

Last year’s ranking: 2

t-1st. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (High: 1; Low: 3)

Last year’s ranking: 4

Our top spot is co-occupied by what are currently considered general manager Brad Holmes’ best draft picks. Sewell was the easy choice for Holmes, as he fell into their laps at seventh overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. St. Brown required much more patience that weekend, with Holmes trusting his gut that the fierce competitor would be there in the fourth round.

Sewell has quickly established himself as one of the best right tackles in the league. His tenacious attitude, strong fundamentals, and absolutely ridiculous movement skills for a man his size make him a literal weapon on the offensive line. Yes, literally.

As for St. Brown, only one player in the NFL have caught more passes than the Lions receiver since Week 13 of the 2021 season. His route precision and insatiable hunger to get better has quickly made him one of the best—and most entertaining—receivers in the league. He may not have the prototypical build of a No. 1 receiver, but he’s without a doubt Detroit’s primary option, and his quarterback is predicting even bigger things in 2023 after a Pro Bowl, 1,161-yard season last year.

How’d we do this year? What does your top 10 look like? Share it in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

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