Strong core of young Lions ranked highly in ESPN’s All-Youngster team

USA Today

The Detroit Lions might not be the youngest team in the NFL any longer, but there is still a plethora of young high-end talent on the team. That bright future is reflected in the latest edition of ESPN’s “All Youngster Team,” which breaks down the top talents under 24 years of age across the league.

On offense, two Lions are evaluated as the top talents under 24 at their positions. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is a runaway choice, with analyst Matt Miller noting the 22-year-old LaPorta “has a strong case for already being a top-five tight end.”

Right tackle Penei Sewell, 23, is a first-teamer, too. He gets his position flipped to left tackle here to accommodate Bears RT Darnell Wright, who can only play on the right, whereas Sewell has experience on the left, too.

On defense, Aidan Hutchinson is a no-brainer first-team selection at EDGE. Interestingly, he’s joined by rookie LB Jack Campbell, who earned the first-team nod at off-ball LB. Campbell has had his rookie struggles, but analyst Matt Bowen notes,

“(Campbell) sees it fast here, with the ability to pursue the ball carrier. Plus, Campbell can play at depth in zone coverage, putting himself in a position to drive top-down on second-level throws.”

Rookie DB Brian Branch didn’t make the list, perhaps because he straddles the line between cornerback and safety rather than having one set roile.

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