Dan Campbell has never been afraid to play young players, which we've seen a lot of throughout his first two years as head coach of the Detroit Lions.
The Lions got a lot of production from their rookie class last year from players like defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, who was a Day 1 starter, safety Kerby Joseph, who stepped into a starting role after an injury to Tracy Walker, and linebacker James Houston, who made a huge impact the second half of the season after his historic debut on Thanksgiving.
The future looks bright for the Lions, as these young players should only get better heading into their second seasons.
Which Lions rookie are you most excited to see make a year-two jump? I asked the Detroitlions.com crew, and here's what they had to say:
Tim Twentyman: Wide receiver Jameson Williams
Everyone knew it was going to a red-shirt year of sorts for Williams last season after he missed most of his rookie year rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in college. We did, however, catch a glimpse of his rare explosiveness at the end of the season when he returned.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson plans to deploy Williams all over the field. I can't wait to see what his rare speed and explosiveness could mean for this offense.
Mike O'Hara: Defensive lineman Josh Paschal
Williams is the obvious answer because we saw so little of him as a rookie and expect to see much more in his second year.
But I'm going to the other side of the ball – Paschal, the second-round pick from Kentucky. Injuries limited him to 10 games and four starts, but he started to come on late in the season.
He produced some good stats – 10 solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and four quarterback hits. I'm expecting more in 2023 from Paschal.
View photos from the Annual League Meetings in Phoenix, Ariz.
PJ's Pick: Linebacker James Houston
Tallying eight sacks in seven games would be impressive for any player, but for a rookie seeing his first NFL action during a playoff push? That pace was nothing short of historic.
Even with the full complement of edge rushers back in the fold for the Lions and with the NFL Draft still to come, I'm most excited to see a full season of Houston on the field. It's possible that a healthy Romeo Okwara and an added edge rusher in the draft could open things up even more for the second-year pass rusher.
Editor's Pick: Safety Kerby Joseph
Joseph stepped in admirably when Walker suffered an Achilles injury and was lost for the season Week 3.
He had a memorable rookie campaign as a starter, from flipping out of the tunnel at Ford Field to picking off Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times (twice Week 9 & once Week 18).
We've seen enough from Joseph to make me want to see what comes next.