The 2013 edition of ESPN's Future Power Rankings for the NFL came out on Wednesday. Since this is for the future, these power rankings are based on projections of how each NFL team is set up to succeed in 2016. The power rankings aren't trying to predict the standings for 2016, but rather they should be considered "a barometer tracking where each franchise is heading."
In ESPN's view, the Detroit Lions aren't exactly headed for a ton of success in 2016. The Lions are 21st in the Future Power Rankings with an overall score of 56.92 out of 100. The score is based on ratings for five different categories: roster quality, quarterback situation, draft, front office and coaching. The Lions got a 6.8 for quarterback situation, a 5.8 for roster quality and a 5.7 for draft, and they only scored a 5.0 in both the front office and coaching categories.
Amazingly, the Lions were ranked sixth in last year's edition of ESPN's Future Power Rankings with a score of 74.44. They had higher scores across the board with a 6.75 for roster quality, an 8.0 for quarterback situation, an 8.5 for draft, a 7.5 for front office and a 7.25 for coaching. Clearly, the Lions' 4-12 season in 2012 soured the "experts" in charge of putting together these scores.
In the NFC North, the Lions are ranked third in ESPN's Future Power Rankings behind the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. The Packers are second with a score of 83.63, whereas the Vikings are just ahead of the Lions in 19th with a score of 58.21. The Chicago Bears are one spot behind the Lions with a score of 56.04.