It’s one thing to pat ourselves on the back when the Detroit Lions make strong moves in free agency. Just about every fanbase eventually sells themselves on their team’s offseason strategy, whether it matches their initial plans or not.
That’s why it’s always important to check in on the national point of view. While they’re not always the most knowledgeable about the Lions’ situation, it’s a nice way to keep yourself in check, or see the perception of players that we may not be as familiar with.
And while there are plenty of people skeptical of the Lions’ moves—and we’ll get to them later in the week—one national publication that seems to be largely in favor of Detroit’s moves is analytics website Pro Football Focus.
On Tuesday, PFF listed their five “early winners” of free agency and the Lions were first on their list.
“Where the Lions really won the day was when they addressed their defense, and came to terms with Justin Coleman and Trey Flowers,” PFF’s Cam Mellor wrote.
The full article is worth the read, but they dropped some interesting stats for three of the four Lions’ moves (the report of the Lions agreeing to sign Oday Aboushi came in after this article was published). Here’s some interesting knowledge from PFF:
- NFL’s 14th-best catch rate from the slot
- On average, allowed a reception just every 10.7 snaps—eighth-best among slot receivers
- Second-most QB pressures in the NFL in 2019 (including playoffs)
- 3rd-highest PFF grade among edge defenders
There’s still a lot of free agency to go, and in a lot of ways the second and third waves of free agency are just as important. But early on, it appears the Lions are getting some serious praise for their moves.