The Detroit Lions have spent the last few months overhauling their roster, and that’s led to plenty of new faces on the squad, most of whom are young.
As a result of this, there’s been some major changes for the Lions. Suddenly, a roster that had plenty of older faces has become one of the youngest in the league. Upon further examination, the Lions are now indeed the youngest roster in the entire NFL at this point for 2022.
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As Mike Dumas pointed out on Twitter, the Lions’ average age is hovering around 24.9 for this coming season which is very young.
“Lions are officially the youngest team in the league with a average age of 24.9 years old…,” he wrote on Twitter.
That average age dropped slightly since before the NFL draft, when the Lions were at 25.3 years old as Football Outsiders showed on April 7, prior to the draft playing out. In 2021, the Lions had the youngest team in the NFL, and got plenty of run for their youth on the field. The age dropped in a big way from the start of 2021 until the finsish, and with this fact, it’s clear the youth movement is only going stronger for the Lions this year.
There’s a lot for young players to learn, but last season, having the team grow served everyone well.
Lions Have Shifted From Veteran to Young Roster
The Lions weren’t always this young, of course. In fact, the team was one of the older squads in the league during the Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn era. The abrupt about-face, though, shows that the team is rebuilding in the right way for the future and not trying to cut corners in a quick fix. This was discussed in a Football Outsiders segment.
“That’s a positive to me because that shows they’re serious about rebuilding,” analyst Aaron Schatz said in the video about Detroit’s young roster.
Fellow analyst Bryan Knowles agrees, and explained that it didn’t make sense for the Lions to have names like Adrian Peterson, Danny Amendola and company in the past, because they weren’t young players the team could grow with.
“They’re doing exactly the right thing if you want to rebuild. Get rid of anyone who might not be there in five years and just see what you’ve got,” Knowles said.
The reasoning this makes sense? The Lions are trying to build something they can sustain in the future.
“You’re the Lions and you’re bad. You need to get rid of these players so you can build for the next good Lions theme whenever that may be,” Knowles admitted.
So far, it looks as if that’s just what the Lions have committed to doing, which is good to note.
Deep Drafts, Young Signings Help Lions Change Course
How have the Lions changed course so dramatically? It has everything to do with not only their drafts, but the players they have signed. Between the 2021 and 2022 classes, Detroit has added 14 total players, seven in each class. That has provided a big boost for the team. The Lions have also not added many older veteran names to the roster, and have instead focused on signing players who are younger or who have not found a home in the league and have bounced around. A guy like Charles Harris comes to mind, who will only be 27 years old when the season starts, yet has been in the league a long time and is productive.
As a whole, this transition seems to be a solid one for the Lions. The team is not only rebuilding, but seems to be doing it in the right way and finding the right mix of youngsters in order to get it done on the field. There are sure to be some growing pains, but that is to be expected for a group so young.