Multiple Detroit Lions make ESPN's Top 100 Players for 2023 Prediction List
The Detroit Lions are stealing the limelight in ESPN's latest NFL player rankings, marking a significant leap from previous years. As we approach the season opener, ESPN's NFL analysts have banded together to forecast the standout players of 2023. The rankings took into account the anticipated performances in comparison to contemporaries, considering factors like injuries and suspensions. As you are about to see, four Lions players made this year's list.
Which Detroit Lions Players Made The List?
Amon-Ra St. Brown
Emerging in the spotlight, Amon-Ra St. Brown secures the 61st position, with predictions suggesting a commendable performance from the wide receiver, including an impressive low drop rate.
Since entering the league in 2021, St. Brown has a 1% drop rate (three drops in 265 targets) which is the lowest among all players with 200-plus targets in that span. He's back for Year 3 and hungrier than ever after making his first Pro Bowl appearance last season. Already viewed as one of the most reliable receivers in the league, St. Brown is looking to take his game to an even higher level in 2023. — Eric Woodyard
What they are saying: “You can see he's a man on a mission with how he works. He's coming for something this year.” — Lions wide receiver Josh Reynolds
2023 projection: 95 receptions, 1,047 yards, 6 TDs (64 yards/1 TD rushing)
Following closely, Aidan Hutchinson snags the 67th spot, boasting projections rooted in his sterling rookie year achievements.
Hutchinson is coming off a stellar rookie season in which he led all rookies with 9.5 sacks while also racking up 52 total tackles and three interceptions. He also tied for the most quarterback hurries (37) among rookies in 2022 with Kansas City's George Karlaftis. — Eric Woodyard
Signature stat: Myles Garrett was the only edge rusher double-teamed at a higher rate than Hutchinson (29.6%) last season.
What they are saying: “My goals are if you think about the highest accolades you can get in football, that's what I'm going for.” — Hutchinson
2023 projection: 55 tackles, 9 sacks
Another name on the list, Penei Sewell at No. 71, gained recognition for his 2022 performance that led to his inaugural Pro Bowl nomination.
There's a reason the Lions selected Sewell as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 draft. Viewed as a foundational part of the offense, Sewell has lived up to the hype, surrendering only 1.5 sacks in 2022 en route to earning his first Pro Bowl selection. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound offensive tackle was part of an O-line that helped the Lions become a top-five offense last season. — Eric Woodyard
Signature stat: Sewell and Jake Matthews allowed the fewest sacks (three) among tackles with at least 1,000 snaps played last season.
What they are saying: “He's our foundation. He's one of those pillars that we talk about. But I mean he is something else. He's a man on a mission. I feel like we're a team on a mission, but he is a man on a mission, and you talk about being wired right, a guy that comes in every day, puts in the work and he's got so much ability, but he's got the right attitude too and I think that's what makes him dangerous if you're the opponent.” — Lions coach Dan Campbell
Quarterback Jared Goff, completing the Lions' representation, sits at No. 91. Goff, having showcased stellar gameplay in 2022, is posited to continue his prowess this season.
Coming off one of his best seasons in 2022, Goff has a chance to secure a long-term future as the Lions' franchise quarterback. He helped lead the Lions to eight victories over their last 10 games while spearheading a top-five offense last season. If he can perform at a high level again this season, the Lions have a chance to make the playoffs. — Eric Woodyard
Signature stat: Goff finished the 2022 season with 29 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions, making a TD/INT ratio of 4.1 — the best in the NFL and the best mark in a single season in Lions franchise history (min. 250 passes).
What they are saying: “I feel like he's right on track. He's in his second year in the offense and you know I feel like he's right where he needs to be. He's in good place, he's making big throws. I feel like he's on top of the protection, and yeah, I feel good, I mean there's nothing that would tell me he's not going to have another good year for us.” — Lions coach Dan Campbell
2023 projection: 3,933 passing yards, 24 TDs, 11 INTs (83 yards/2 TDs rushing)
With such forecasts, the Lions are surely a team to watch out for in 2023.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
Bottom Line – From Underdogs to Lions' Den Dominance
The winds of change are evident in the NFL corridors. The Detroit Lions, once on the fringes, are now roaring loud, heralding their presence. With a blend of young fervor and seasoned prowess, the team is poised to redefine its legacy. If ESPN's predictions hold water, which they often do, the Lions might just be the dark horse of the 2023 NFL season. And for the fans and followers, it promises a season of thrilling chases, memorable touchdowns, and roaring victories.