Pro Football Focus has had a lot of good things to say about the Detroit Lions in the 2018 season, especially regarding their rookie class. Tracy Walker finished with a top-10 grade in coverage and an impressive 89.8 overall grade. Da’Shawn Hand made their All-Rookie team of 2018. Kerryon Johnson finished with the 13th-highest grade among all running backs.
However, it wasn’t great news for much of the rest of the team. The Lions secondary ranked 30th. Their front seven ranked 31st. Matthew Stafford was just 16th and the offensive line ranked 16th as well.
So it’s probably little surprise that the Lions didn’t make much of an appearance on PFF’s Top 101 Players of 2018 list.
The list, which was unveiled in installments all this week, only featured a single Detroit Lion, and he didn’t even play with the team for the entire year.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. came in at 40th on the list:
Here’s what PFF had to say about “Snacks:”
Damon Harrison has long been one of the elite interior defenders in the NFL and 2018 was no different, and his run defense grade of 93.8 ranked first out of 128 qualifying interior defenders. With 46 run stops on 288 run defense snaps, Harrison ranked first in run-stop percentage (16.0%) at the position.
PFF’s ranking system is a little unclear. Players who graded in the mid-80s and even high 70s made the list. However, guys like A’Shawn Robinson (89.9 grade) and Da’Shawn Hand (88.0) did not make the list. PFF notes in their article that postseason performance was taken into account for the list, so it’s possible players like Robinson and Hand simply didn’t log enough snaps to jump some of those players. And any list like this is going to have some subjectivity, even with a grading system in place.
Either way, the Lions definitely need an influx of talent for 2019, and general manager Bob Quinn was quick to admit it in his postseason press conference.
“I think big picture, we need more playmakers,” Quinn said. “We need guys to make big plays.”