Former rival general manager offers bold prediction for Detroit Lions' rookies

Former general manager Rick Spielman sees the Detroit Lions' rookie class playing a huge role for the team this season.
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The Detroit Lions have turned over their roster significantly in recent years, and another influx of talent in the 2023 draft has things really looking up.

That's a fact which is becoming harder for people around the league to ignore. Former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, in his capacity working for CBS Sports, was on site for the Lions' joint practices against the New York Giants this week.

Spielman wrote that he sees four rookies ready to play "significant roles" for the Lions right away, while also appreciating the team's boost in the secondary with C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cam Sutton.

That prediction might not seem so off base, because already, good things have been said about many of the youngsters Spielman references. Specifically, Campbell has been cited as a potential new starter, Gibbs has looked like a revelation in camp and LaPorta has enjoyed solid days as well.

All of this points to the work general manager Brad Holmes has done to boost the roster, and if Spielman's projection ends up becoming fact, it could point to the bedrock of the team's future being significantly constructed.

Rick Spielman praises Detroit Lions running backs, Aidan Hutchinson

Not only does Spielman seem to admire the team's rookie class, but he also sees some significant positives from other players on the roster as well.

Spielman added that he also sees David Montgomery and Gibbs as an upgrade over Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift at running back. He also predicted a big season for Aidan Hutchinson after seeing him work on the field.

A resurgent season at running back as well as Hutchinson shattering the double-digit sack mark he set as a personal goal would mean big things across the board for the Lions on both sides of the ball. The added opinion of Hutchinson relative to Kayvon Thibodeaux, another edge rusher who was a high pick in the 2022 draft, is telling.

Spielman's praise of the Lions' rookie class is not a revelation. But his bringing of a general manager's eye to his opinion adds a meaningful layer.


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