Most of the good football teams around the NFL have a great mix of youthful talent and veteran leadership. Matthew Stafford (29), Glover Quin (31) and Haloti Ngata (33) are established, veteran leaders in the Detroit Lions locker room.
But the Lions also currently have 27 players on their roster under the age of 25, and are about to add a bunch more in next month's NFL Draft.
Here's a look at the top five Lions under the age of 25:
**1. Taylor Decker, LT, 23
View photos of Taylor Decker from the 2016 season.
The No. 16 overall pick last season stepped right into the left tackle spot and played every offensive snap for the Lions last season, and he did it at a very high level.
He finished his first NFL season ranked among the top 12 left tackles in the game by Pro Football Focus, and made the Pro Football Writers all-rookie team.
"He's a future Pro Bowler," T.J. Lang told 97.1 in an interview last week of his new teammate Decker. "I watched a lot of film on that guy. He's a stud."
2. A'Shawn Robinson, DT, 22
Robinson never seemed to hit the proverbial rookie wall, as the second-round pick looked like he got better as the season progressed. He led all defensive tackles with seven passes defended and became a starter the last month and a half of the season.
It took a little time for Robinson to adjust from the two-gap scheme he ran at Alabama to Teryl Austin's attacking one-gap scheme, but when he did, he flourished. All the physical tools are there for him to be a good interior lineman for a long time.
3. Eric Ebron, TE, 23
With 61 receptions for 711 yards (11.7 average) last season, Ebron established new career single-season highs in both categories, and currently ranks third all-time in Lions history (Brandon Pettigrew) for single-season receptions/receiving yards by a tight end. Both numbers ranked in the top 10 among tight ends last season.
Ebron needs to reduce the drops (7) and up the touchdowns (1), but he's still very much an ascending player in this league.
**4. Ameer Abdullah, RB, 23
Abdullah was humming along nicely last season – 5.6 yards per carry – before a foot injury prematurely ended his season. When Abdullah and Theo Riddick, 25, were both healthy and playing together last season, the Lions produced 100-yard performances on the ground in each game. After Abdullah was injured, the Lions reached 100 yards on the ground as a team just one other time in 15 games (including the playoffs).
"Coming into this league, I had no other plans but to be a premier NFL back in this league, and I know I will be," Abdullah said after the season. "It just takes patience, it takes prayer, it takes diligence, and coming from these injuries the last year or so, it's just that much more important to me."
5. Graham Glasgow, G/C, 24
Detroit's third-round pick last season ended up being a utility knife for offensive line coach Ron Prince. He started 11 games at both center and guard, which is an extremely difficult feat for any player, let alone a rookie.
He should come back this season a much better player with a true offseason to prepare his body. He is probably the favorite to land the starting left guard spot heading into the offseason training program.