Detroit Lions dominate two fresh lists of best young players in the NFL

It's no surprise, but the Lions are well-represented on two new lists of the best young players in the NFL.

The core of the Detroit Lions' rise is the work general manager Brad Holmes and the front office has done in the draft. The Lions selected five Pro Bowlers (and possibly counting) over the 2021, 2022 and 2023 drafts. Those five players are franchise pillars, and most other teams in the league would love to have one of them; let alone all five.

Of course drafting well eventually comes with a price of a big second contract. The Lions gladly did it with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell this offseason, and they'll gladly do it with Aidan Hutchinson soon.

Even as those key players get more expensive, Holmes will surely keep the pipeline of young talent full moving forward. The Lions are set up for sustained success.

Detroit Lions are well-represented on two lists of top young players in NFL

Pro Football Focus recently put together an "All-2000s Team", as in, the best players born in the 2000s. Cutting to the chase, it's players who are 24 years old or younger. It goes position by position to fill a starting lineup, with one running back and three wide receivers.

The Lions have the tight end (Sam LaPorta), the right tackle (Sewell) and one of the edge rushers (Hutchinson) on the "All-2000s Team". A bit surprisingly, but maybe not given how much PFF loves him, Alim McNeill is one of the defensive tackles on the team.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network is the latest to rank the top-25 NFL players under the age of 25.

LaPorta comes in at No. 16.
St. Brown, who was born in 1999 so he didn't qualify for the "All-2000s" team, comes in at No. 9 in PFN's young players ranking.
Hutchinson is No. 8.
Sewell is No. 1, as Robinson noted him being the first draft pick of the Holmes-Dan Campbell era.

"It’s fair to say the Lions are embarking on a youth movement. In 2023, Detroit was the NFL’s fifth-youngest team by snap-weighted age. LaPorta, St. Brown, and Hutchinson all made our list, and Gibbs was an honorable mention, but we’ve saved the best for first."

"Penei Sewell is the NFL’s best player under 25 — and you can argue that he’s the top offensive tackle in the league, too."

.Sewell, the first draft pick for the Campbell-Holmes regime, is among those franchise cornerstones and emblematic of Detroit’s turnaround."

Jahmyr Gibbs was an honorable mention on Robinson's list, as De'Von Achane and Bijan Robinson are the only running backs who made the cut. Robinson as the running back on the "All-2000s" team, presumably similar edging out Gibbs (and Achane?).

Few teams can even closely compete with the Lions regarding the number of high-end young players they have. Based on these new lists, no team is in their class there.

Next. Ranking Detroit Lions biggest draft gems of the last decade . Ranking Detroit Lions biggest draft gems of the last decade. dark