The Detroit Lions had one of their best seasons ever last year and certainly their best season in a very long time. The Lions won the NFC North and hosted a home playoff game last season against the Los Angeles Rams. It was the first playoff win for the Lions in over 30 years, and they got another home playoff game and win after that against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a great season, and the players that Detroit picked in the 2023 NFL Draft helped them out a lot.

A lot of people questioned Brad Holmes and the Lions after the 2023 NFL Draft because of some of their picks, specifically early on. Two picks that people question because of how early they were taken were Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta. Holmes ended up looking like a genius after the season because of how well those two rookies ended up playing. They were two of the best rookies in the entire league, and it really showed that Holmes is one of the best GMs in the NFL. That rookie class was crucial to the success that the Lions found last season, and they will be crucial going forward as well. Detroit has a great young core of players.

Those rookies last season were not only huge during the regular season, but they stepped up big time in the playoffs for the Lions as well. It was impressive to see from players that had never been on that stage before. There was no moment that was too big for them, and they played a crucial role in the playoff run that Detroit went on.

After taking down the Rams and the Buccaneers, the Lions were just one win away from going to the Super Bowl. They hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, and Detroit came out firing on all cylinders. The Lions dominated the first half and they found themselves with a 17-point lead in the third quarter of the game. Unfortunately for Detroit, things began to unravel after that.

The Lions 17-point lead quickly vanished after a 49ers touchdown followed by an immediate Detroit fumble. San Francisco eventually got the lead and they never looked back, and they ended up going to the Super Bowl. It was a tough way for the season to end for the Lions, but it was still very promising and the future is looking bright.

Lions fans had been waiting for a season like that for a long time, and the city of Detroit needed it badly. The Lions seem poised for success next season as well, and the future as a whole looks bright after their deep playoff run. Detroit has never won a Super Bowl, so while last year was great, the next step is getting over the hump and bringing that trophy back to the Motor City for the first time.

The rookie class was huge for the Lions last season, and they now have their next set of youngsters coming in as the 2024 NFL Draft was a couple months ago in Detroit. Lions fan showed out all week and showed how much they care about this team as they broke the record for day one NFL Draft attendance and total NFL Draft attendance. These fans are great, and they are hungry to see their team get to top of the NFL.

After the masterclass that Brad Holmes and co put on last year with their NFL Draft picks, Lions fans are excited to see how their new rookies are going to fare in the NFL. Now, the Lions need to focus on rounding out the rest of their roster. The biggest need that the Lions had to address this offseason was their secondary, and they have already done a great job. They have added a lot of new talent to that part of their defense, and the players that the Lions drafted showed that they realize how important the secondary is this offseason.

The first pick that the Lions made in the draft was a huge one for those secondary needs, and it seems like it was it was a steal of a pick. Detroit ended up trading up to get Terrion Arnold from Alabama. They were surprised that he stayed on the board for so long, and they found a way to take advantage and land him. This team was filled with talented rookies last year, and Arnold should help continue that trend into this season.

Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold (0) walks off the field after practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters and training facility

Terrion Arnold is going to be a rookie this upcoming season, and Lions fans are expecting him to be a star right out of the gate. However, there are a couple other youngsters that Lions fans should have their eyes on for breakout seasons. Here are two sleepers on Detroit that could end up having big years.

Sione Vaki, RB/S

Sione Vaki is going to be a rookie next year, but he isn't getting as much national attention as Terrion Arnold because he was picked in the fourth round. However, Lions fans are eager to see this youngster take the field for the first time because of his unique versatility.

At Utah, Sione Vaki was a do-it-all player as he played both offense and defense for the Utes. He started in 12 games at safety, but he also appeared at running back in seven games. The Lions have him listed as a RB on their website. No matter what position he's at, Sione Vaki has a lot of potential.

Mekhi Wingo, DL

Another rookie that could have a breakout season right out of the gates is Mekhi Wingo. This is another guy that isn't getting as much attention as early-round draft picks. Mekhi Wingo was picked by the Lions in the sixth round, and he was a beast in college at LSU.

Mekhi Wingo did miss five games last season because of a groin injury, but he had a big year in 2022 with 46 tackles and three sacks. He should be a great addition the defensive line, and he has the talent to come out and be star from the start.