The Detroit Lions drafted eight rookies in the 2022 draft cycle and each of them brings a skill set to the roster that is packed full of interesting traits.
While only one rookie is currently slated for a Week 1 starting job (No. 2 overall pick edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson), each of them appears to have the opportunity to play a significant role this season, with the opportunity to grow into a starter.
Depending on how quickly they develop or return from injury, some rookies could finish the season starting. That’s the expectation for No. 12 overall pick wide receiver Jameson Williams once he is fully recovered from his January ACL injury. Third-round safety Kerby Joseph, sixth-round linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, and seventh-round nickel corner Chase Lucas are also working their way into striking distance of a starting job but will open training camp as reserves.
Last Wednesday, I broke down each of the rookie’s anticipated roles and expectations for the upcoming season, then asked POD readers to vote in an SB Nation Reacts poll, identifying the Lions’ rookie they’re most looking forward to seeing on the field in the fall.
The results of that poll are in:
No surprise Hutchinson leads the way and is closely followed by fellow first-rounder Williams. Each of them are expected to be foundational pieces for this organization and both should see the field a ton—once Williams is healthy.
Rodriguez checking in third may surprise some, but the hype around the Oklahoma State sixth-round pick has been growing since he was drafted. Linebacker is one of the weakest position group on the roster with starting jobs still unsettled. Combine that with Rodriguez’s “green-dot” (defensive play-calling) potential, and that has fans excited at the possibilities of what’s to come.