Pro Football Focus recently released its list of the top 101 players of the 2012 season. The list is based strictly on what happened in 2012, meaning past performances and potential future performances weren't considered. Instead, it was simply a ranking of players based on what took place on the field last season.
The Detroit Lions had only three players make the list: wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
It should come as no surprise that Johnson was rated the highest among the three Lions players. PFF put him at No. 12, down from his No. 4 ranking in 2011. The reason for his drop likely revolves around his decrease in touchdowns, but PFF still gives him a lot of credit for nearly getting to 2,000 yards receiving despite having very few weapons around him.
Suh is the next Lion on the list, coming in at No. 60. He actually wasn't even ranked in the 2011 edition of this list, and PFF mentioned that Suh would be even higher this time around if the 2012 list was based solely on what happened toward the end of the season. He was that dominant as the season came to a close.
Fairley was just behind Suh at No. 68 overall. Like Suh, Fairley wasn't ranked in the 2011 edition of this list. PFF noted that "when Fairley was on the field there were few better players," but he wasn't ranked higher since he only had 511 snaps. If that number goes up in the future, so should Fairley's ranking.