NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi released his list of blue chip and red chip players in the NFL. There were quite a few Lions mentioned, and some guys that may have deserved a mention that didn't get one.
Offense: Quarterback: Matthew Stafford - Red Chip
Stafford is clearly a top end talent. I think he has the talent of a blue chip player, just not the experience yet. I think he's in a good spot on this list, primed to move up as he improves and the other guys age.
Running Back: No Lions Mentioned
Agreed, no Lions are of this caliber (yet).
Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson - Blue Chip
No explanation necessary for Calvin, he's the very definition of a blue chip player. I think Titus Young has the potential to make the Red Chip cut next season.
Tight End: Brandon Pettigrew - Red Chip
It's good to see Pettigrew starting to get national recognition, he's a very good tight end. Another season like he had in 2011 and he'll be bordering the blue chip level.
Tackle: No Lions Mentioned
Jeff Backus has been very solid and consistent his whole career, not to mention healthy. If there was a career achievement list, he'd be at least a red chip among current tackles. I hope Riley Reiff can crack this list in a few years.
Guard: No Lions Mentioned
I don't think any of our guards are as good as the guys listed.
Center: No Lions Mentioned
Raiola is barely average.
Defense End: Cliff Avril - Red Chip Avril's big 2011 season earned him some national recognition. He has continued to improve and should be good again in 2012. I'm hoping that Willie Young lives up to the hype we're giving him on this site and becomes worthy a spot here in the coming years.
Tackle - Ndamukong Suh - Blue Chip
Suh can be the most dominant interior lineman in the game some times. He's in great shape too, good for more snaps than just about any other DT in the game. There's a shot for Nick Fairley to get mentioned here next season, he just needs to focus on football.
Inside Linebacker: No Lions Mentioned
Tulloch is a good inside linebacker, definitely above average. I think he at least deserved to be mentioned, even if he's not quite a red chip guy.
Outside Linebacker: No Lions Mentioned
Not saying that Levy or Durant are worthy, but even if they were it would be an uphill battle since the guys listed are known more for their flashy pass rushing than anything else.
Cornerback: No Lions Mentioned
I like Houston, but this list is full of very good corners that I'd love to see in a Lions jersey.
Safety: Louis Delmas - Blue Chip
I was a little shocked by this. Yes, I think Delmas is very talented. The defense is noticeably and significantly more effective when he's out there. His health has always been a bit of a question though. Red chip wouldn't have been a stretch.
Head Coach: Jim Schwartz - Red Chip
The Lions have had a terrific turn around and he's driving the bus. While I think he needs to focus more on team discipline and get some playoff success, there's no denying that he's done a lot of good things for the team. I like him as a red chip.
I didn't see a spot for kicker, punter, or returner, but I'd say Jason Hanson is a red chip (he's not getting any younger) and nobody else on the special teams would be mentioned.