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Notes: 4 Lions make ESPN’s top-100 players prediction

The Detroit Lions hype continues.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Four Detroit Lions made ESPN’s prediction of the top 100 players of 2023 — something you probably wouldn’t have seen even just a year ago.

Just over a week out from the season opener, which of course features the Lions, dozens of ESPN NFL analysts teamed up to rate players’ expected performances compared to their peers. Long-term injuries and suspensions, such as Jameson Williams’ six week one, are a factor in the list.

The first Lion to make the list at No. 61 is 23-year-old Amon-Ra St. Brown. ESPN projects this year the wide receiver’s statline will be 95 receptions, 1,047 yards, and six touchdowns, with 64 yards and one rushing touchdown.

“Since entering the league in 2021, St. Brown has a 1% drop rate (three drops in 265 targets) which is the lowest among all players with 200-plus targets in that span,” Eric Woodyard writes.

Just below that, coming in at No. 67, is Aidan Hutchinson. Entering his sophomore campaign, his 2023 projection is 55 tackles and 9.0 sacks.

“Hutchinson is coming off a stellar rookie season in which he led all rookies with 9.5 sacks while also racking up 52 total tackles and three interceptions.”

Next up — Penei Sewell at No. 71.

“Sewell has lived up to the hype, surrendering only 1.5 sacks in 2022 en route to earning his first Pro Bowl selection. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound offensive tackle was part of an O-line that helped the Lions become a top-five offense last season.”

Finally, Jared Goff rounds out the list at No. 91.

“Coming off one of his best seasons in 2022, Goff has a chance to secure a long-term future as the Lions’ franchise quarterback. He helped lead the Lions to eight victories over their last 10 games while spearheading a top-five offense last season. If he can perform at a high level again this season, the Lions have a chance to make the playoffs,” Woodyard writes.

ESPN predicts 3,933 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 2023, along with 83 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Derek Lalonde is all of us.

  • “I see a very good offense that could take a slight step back.” The Ringer’s Sheil Kapadia ranks how every team’s offense will perform in 2023 and unlike the rest of the world, he’s not the highest on the Lions.

  • It’s wise you never miss a SportsWorks round table discussion with Dan Miller.

  • While some argue it’s a good idea to play starters in preseason, the Detroit Free Press’s Carlos Monarrez explains why he thinks it was a better idea to rest them. ($)

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.