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NFL Top 101 Players of 2017: 3 Lions make PFF’s list

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Three Lions made PFF’s top 101 list, and more may be coming.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

You know it’s officially the offseason when the player lists come out. Time to feign outrage when certain people don’t hold the same opinion as you, or whenever a site and/or writer shuns your team like they always seem to do.

Pro Football Focus is the first site to take a swing at the 2017 NFL player ranking game. This week, they’re slowly rolling out their Top 101 Players from the 2017 season list. Through Tuesday, they had revealed the first 51 players on the list (101 through 51), and three Detroit Lions players have been announced. Here’s a quick look at them.

No. 88 - Golden Tate

Tate finished as PFF’s No. 7 wide receiver with an overall grade of 86.4. Much of his value came from his ability to break tackles. In fact, no other receiver broke more tackles than Tate last year:

As a result, Tate also had more yards after the catch (546) than any other receiver.

So far, the following receivers have placed higher on PFF’s list:

  • Doug Baldwin (80)
  • Adam Thielen (78)
  • Stefon Diggs (77)
  • Tyreek Hill (72)

Of course, the top 50 players have yet to be named, and there are bound to be a few more receivers (see: Antonio Brown) still left on the list.

No. 62 - Darius Slay

The NFL’s leader in both interceptions (8) and passes defended (26) landed at 62 overall in 2017. Believe it or not, this is not the highest Slay has ever been on PFF’s list. Back in 2015, Slay ranked 44th overall by PFF, despite only having 13 pass breakups and two interceptions that year.

Slay was graded as the 11th best cornerback per PFF, but he is currently the highest-placed cornerback on the list with 50 players still to be named.

No. 60 - Glover Quin

According to Pro Football Focus, this was Glover Quin’s best year (since they’ve been ranking players). Quin has only once appeared on PFF’s top 101 list before: Back in 2014, when he led the league in interceptions (7) and landed 81st on their list.

This year, Quin set a career-high in run stops with 27 and finished with the third best grade among all NFL safeties.

Overall

There are still 50 players to be named on the list, but there’s a good chance we’ve seen the last of any Detroit Lions players. You may think Matthew Stafford should crack the top 50, but considering players like Drew Brees (56) and Matt Ryan (58) have already been named to the list, there’s a very small chance Stafford’s name is coming.

And then there’s this: Quin, Slay and Tate were the three highest graded Lions in 2017.

Though some may think Detroit got snubbed on this year’s PFF list, this actually much better than last year. In 2016, only Stafford made the entire list, and he just barely eked by at the No. 99 spot. At least this year PFF recognized that the Lions have several playmakers on the team, and best of all, all three of these players will be returning in 2018.