clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL offseason power rankings: Lions squeeze their way into the top 10

Believe it or not, there are some believers in the Lions.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Gosselin is a name that Detroit Lions fans may want to get to know. The sports columnist and author has a storied career in sports journalism. According to his online bio, Gosselin has worked 41 years in NFL coverage, including columnist work for the Dallas Morning News since 1990.

So when he talks, people listen. And Lions fans will be happy to hear what Gosselin has been saying lately. The Hall of Fame voter said earlier in the week that he believes the Lions will win the NFC North in 2017, although his two other co-hosts picked the Packers.

Gosselin took his faith in the Lions one step further on Thursday, placing them 10th in his offseason power rankings. He credits the Lions for addressing their two biggest needs this offseason: protection for Matthew Stafford and defensive help. “The Lions invested $76 million in protecting Stafford this season with the signings of free-agent offensive linemen Rickey Wagner and T.J. Lang,” Gosselin wrote.

While placing the Lions 10th in his power rankings isn’t all that bold, it goes against the common national perception of the Lions, which has been predominantly negative all offseason. Pro Football Focus thinks Detroit has the fifth-worst roster. ESPN’s prediction model gives the Lions just a 24.9 percent chance to make the playoffs. One offseason power ranking had the Lions 27th overall.

Despite the fact that Gosselin picked Detroit to win the North, he oddly has the Packers ahead of them. In fact, Green Bay is ranked third on his list, the highest NFC team in his power rankings.

I guess even the biggest Lions supporters can’t go all-in on Detroit without some real results.

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.