The Detroit Lions got a quality season from their rookie class, which was amongst the tops in the NFL.
Now, as the season has concluded, the team is seeing some of their players finally get the praise that they have earned and deserve for what they were able to do.
The pair of defensive end Aidan Hutchinson as well as linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez were selected to the PFWA All-Rookie team for their work during the 2022-23 season on the field.
While Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner took home Rookie of the Year honors, Hutchinson was called out as a top defensive end by writers in the piece as well as Rodriguez at linebacker. As the piece said, Detroit was one of just seven teams with two all-rookie selections.
“Seven teams – the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans – each had two All-Rookie selections. In all, 20 clubs are represented among the 27 players honored,” the site revealed.
For the Lions to land two players on this list was an impressive feat not seen in a few decades. That’s something that the Lions’ team Twitter account celebrated, and perhaps the best part of this situation.
“This is the third time Detroit has had two defensive players named to a PFWA writers’
All-Rookie Team, joining: 1997 – Matt Russell, Bryant Westbrook. 1988 – Chris Spielman, Bennie Blades. Great job Aidan Hutchinson & Malcolm Rodriguez!,” the account tweeted.
The players have earned this victory lap for their hard work and dedication, and from now on, it will be fun for fans to watch how their careers progress.
Hutchinson, Rodriguez Enjoyed Stellar Years
Being a rookie in the NFL is tough, but being a rookie defensive lineman is tougher. Hutchinson has managed to hold his head above water in a big way this season and be dominating.
Hutchinson collected 9.5 sacks, most for a rookie player in the league. He also has three interceptions to his credit as well as 52 total tackles. Most of the year, he was a menace to opposing passers.
In terms of Rodriguez, the Lions got one of the best seasons in recent memory from one of their rookie linebackers, given he put up a total of 87 tackles, one forced fumble and one sack this season. The impact of Rodriguez was impossible to miss on the field all season long:
These two players figure to be cornerstones for the Lions on defense, and these honors only figure to help make that more the case.
Lions’ 2022 Rookies Offer Future Hope
With these facts in mind, it’s safe to say that the Lions are in great shape for their future, especially on defense.
Led by Hutchinson in the trenches, the Lions have seen their rookie class set the tone on the defensive side of the ball. Hutchinson has been phenomenal already, and has been joined by James Houston and Josh Paschal in terms of consistency up front.
At linebacker, Rodriguez stepped up to look like one of the most important rookies on the team for the future. His toughness and leadership has been downright impressive. In the second level, Kerby Joseph came on strong at safety with three interceptions to look like a star in the making for many reasons.
As a whole, this is great news for the Lions. They’ve needed some talent on the defensive side that is young. These players will combine with names such as Alim McNeill, Derrick Barnes and others to make the team formidable into the future.
It’s simply another significant honor for some well-decorated Lions rookies this offseason.