ESPN ranks Detroit Lions swath of young talent properly high

Everyone knows how much young talent the Detroit Lions have, and ESPN's Aaron Schatz has put that group in its rightful place.

The core tenet of the Detroit Lions rebuild has been the draft, as the five Pro Bowlers (and counting? selected over the 2021-2023 drafts have become the core everything else follows from. So that has naturally given them a group of young talent that's virtually unrivaled around the NFL, with few other teams who are even close.

ESPN's Aaron Schatz (subscription required) has ranked each team's talent that is under 25 years old. Schatz noted the following things, not all of the criteria, he took into account when making the list:
-Starts and snap counts from that young talent
-Contract size and length
-Quality of players under 25 years old (duh), age-adjusted toward younger players
-Positional ranking (relative importance, in the way you'd expect)

The Lions come in at No. 2, up from No. 3 last year, behind only the Houston Texans, who have the reigning Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year (C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson).

The Lions were the only team to have five players in Schatz's "blue chip players" category: Jahmyr Gibbs, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, Penei Sewell and Aidan Hutchinson, as he also highlighted Brian Branch and Terrion Arnold.

Lions occupy unique air in ranking of "under-25" talent

"As you can tell by their placement on this list, the Lions aced the top of the past few drafts. We can certainly have some interesting arguments about positional value with the picks that Detroit made, but it's hard to argue with the results," Schatz wrote. "Sewell was a first-team All-Pro last season and is 23 years old. LaPorta is also 23 and set an NFLrecord for catches by a rookie tight end (86). Gibbs and Brian Branch are just 22, while first-round rookie Terrion Arnold is likely to be an NFL starter at 21."

The way the Texans edged out the Lions for the top spot in Schatz's ranking of each team's young talent is obvious. They have a quarterback in Stroud who'll turn 23 in October and has not yet gotten a big contract, while the Lions obviously just paid Jared Goff and he will turn 30 in October.

But the overall point stands. The Lions have one of the best rosters in the NFL, and it skews very young based on Holmes' draft record.

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