Let's face it, the Detroit Lions defense has left much to be desired so far this season (that is probably putting it nicely), but they have certainly played much better in recent weeks. One reason why the Lions' defense has shown improvement as of late is the play of their rookies. Though there is still a long way to go, it is starting to look like the Lions have some young guys to build around. Three of those guys were named to The Athletic's Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team.
Which Detroit Lions rookies made the Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team?
Here is some of what The Athletic Staff had to say about each player.
Aidan Hutchinson’s 4.5 sacks lead all rookies. His production there was boosted by a few effort plays (and a well-designed stunt for a sack against the Commanders), but his 9.3 percent pressure rate holds up. Though he’s still working on developing answers as an edge setter in the run game and manipulating space as a rusher, he has flashed the motor and playmaking that drew Detroit to him as a high pick.
“Hard Knocks” star Malcolm Rodriguez has been a bright spot on a rough Detroit defense. He hasn’t seen nearly as many total snaps or reps firing back in coverage as Lloyd, but he’s still banking stats (54 tackles, five tackles for loss, three QB hits, one forced fumble and recovery). Quay Walker has eight more tackles than Rodriguez, and he’s also played twice as many snaps on third down (70 to Rodriguez’s 35).
Joseph has been coming along, as of late, and just had a two-interception breakout game Sunday against Aaron Rodgers. He has improved as a player every season since he got to Illinois, and he looks more comfortable by the week at using his length to take away passing lanes and his range to add value as a tackler.