The future’s looking bright in Detroit. Over the course of the previous two seasons, the new regime, Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, have drafted well. The payoff of these two drafts have not come yet, as these spectacular draft classes have not equated to wins, but flashes of what can be, have been seen in every game.
The Lions/Packers game showcased all the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes. The new regime, especially Brad Holmes has been excellent at finding gems in the draft such as second year fourth round star wide receiver Amon Ra St. Brown and very dependable sixth round rookie Malcom Rodriquez. The coaching staff has done a very good job at developing these players into star players.
Here are two rookies and one second year player who shined the most during the Lion’s win.
The scouting report was right, this rookie safety is an incredible ball hawk. He made fantastic plays one after another in today’s win. He used his spectacular ball hawking skills to pick off two passes thrown by Aaron Rodgers. On top of the dominant ball hawking skills he displayed today, he added 10 total tackles and 3 pass deflections. This tremendous performance by the rookie, encapsulates an impressive three game showcase where he has four turnovers in the last three games. In addition to his incredible trait of finding a way to get the ball back to the offense, he hits opposing players with crazy voracity. He is becoming a star.
The second overall pick got his first career interception. This amazing play ultimately led to Aaron Rodgers having one of his worst performances in his professional career. This playmaking ability has been showcased throughout this season as he has 4 and a half sacks. This ability to make big plays is something that this Lions defense needs and solidifies why Aidan Hutchinson is so important to this team. Aidan Hutchinson will be a cornerstone piece for years to come.
The second year linebacker has had a turbulent professional career so far. His rookie year was not as rewarding as most fans would have liked, and he was outperformed during training camp by rookie linebacker Malcom Rodriquez to start games. However Derrick Barnes came to play today as he led the team with 12 total tackles and filled out the stats sheet. In addition to the 12 tackles, he had 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection, and 1 quarterback hit. This performance begs the question whether this second year linebacker has finally found his footing in the professionals. If he has, this is incredible news for the Lions.
These players in today’s win lead a group of extremely talented young defensive players including Jeff Okudah, Jerry Jacobs, Malcolm Rodriguez, Josh Paschal, among many others. These young players will continue to get better and play at a more dependable level. When this time comes, this Lion’s team will be scary.