The Detroit Lions have a pair of second-year players who should’ve made ESPN’s “Under 25” list, but one made it while one was somehow snubbed.
The Detroit Lions have a very young roster, but it’s safe to say Brad Holmes has had two solid drafts as general manager as he tries to build the foundation of a contender. The two biggest hits from the 2021 draft are clearly offensive tackle Penei Sewell and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, taken in the first and fourth round respectively.
ESPN has come out with their list of the top 25 NFL players under 25 years old (Insider subscription required). Surely Sewell, 22, and St. Brown, 23, both made it, right?
To be fair, it’s hard to have such a narrow of list of great young NFL players and not snub multiple guys. So one of the aforementioned Lions did not make the “25-Under-25”.
Penei Sewell makes ESPN list for Detroit Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown snubbed
Sewell made the list, and here’s what was written about him (h/t to Ben Raven of MLive).
"After playing primarily left tackle at Oregon, Sewell made the transition to right tackle seamlessly from the start once joining the Lions,” ESPN writes. “He has a strong build that he uses to overwhelm defenders and plays with a lot of aggressiveness as a run blocker. Sewell also shows outstanding feet, with the balance and quickness to mirror and match the most talented edge rushers in the league. He has given up just three sacks in 2022.”"
St. Brown made the “Snubs” section, albeit with some glowing sentiment.
"The do-it-all ability of St. Brown makes the Lions’ offense one of the most difficult to shut down in the NFL,” “He is among the toughest players pound-for-pound in the NFL, an electric runner after the catch and a physical route runner. St. Brown has 716 receiving yards this season, and his time is coming for national attention.”"
St. Brown probably isn’t all that concerned about being snubbed from a list that ultimately is fodder for articles and conversation more than very important. But we know how motivated he is by his fall in his draft, and a lot of things could become extra motivation for him. ESPN noted itself how St. Brown’s time for national attention is coming.