Power rankings are largely worthless all year around. The weekly tradition is not only meaningless, but the opinions given are typically uninformed, too.
Alright, we got that out of the way, okay?
Because there’s also something interesting about power rankings, especially right now. If draft grades aren’t your things, the changes in a team’s power ranking are a good measure of how others perceive their performance in the NFL Draft. Their perception may not really mean anything, but it’s at least mildly interesting, right?
Most national draft grades handed the Lions a low-to-medium grade, seemingly uninspired by the Lions six draft picks this year. However, NFL.com’s power rankings suggest there is some optimism lurking behind the Lions’ franchise. In Elliot Harrison’s post-draft power rankings, the Detroit Lions moved up... but only one spot to 16th overall.
The rankings put Detroit firmly third in the division, well behind the Vikings (fifth, down one spot) and the Packers (ninth, no change). The Chicago Bears, however, are still well behind the Lions at 24th overall (down one).
Harrison doesn’t rationalize his decision to place the Lions that low (or high, depending on your perspective), but he does point something out that I know Lions fans have been annoyed by for as long as I can remember.
“Nobody cares about the Lions’ pick, even when they’re on the clock. It’s really strange, man,” Harrison writes. “Does anyone realize that Detroit is one of the oldest franchises in the league? The organization has won four championships, although it has admittedly been a minute. Or, a million. Still, the Lions have pieced together 18 wins over the last two years.”
Maybe this year’s draft will finally push the Lions into national relevancy, but until that day, continue to expect the Lions as one of these teams stuck in the middle of the league.