Pro Football Focus ranked all NFL rosters today, and the despite the Lions filling of a lot of needs over the offseason, they found themselves ranked just 20th on the list.
Who has the best top-to-bottom roster in the league?— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 26, 2019
Pro Football Focus ranked them all from 1-32 (E+):https://t.co/MamawZ4HJ5
(Note: You need ESPN Insider to read the entire article)
Though the rankings appear to be based on PFF grades, their methodology isn’t exactly clear. The article neglects the Lions the offense almost completely with the exception of calling Kenny Golladay the team’s “x factor,” but notes that the teams biggest weakness is the teams linebacking corps. Here’s what they had to say.
“On defense, the Lions are promising up front and on the back end, but pretty iffy in the middle. Jarrad Davis has yet to record an overall grade above 52.8 and has missed 36 tackles over the past two years, the third-most among linebackers in that span. Meanwhile, Devon Kennard’s career-best effort came in 2016, when he ranked 27th among linebackers with a 72.8 overall grade.”
The good news is the article goes on to say that the Lions have one of the best defensive lines in the league on paper. I’m inclined to agree.
- PFF also provided this little bit of optimism regarding Detroit’s overall defense going into 2019:
The #Lions earned an 85.0+ in Tackling (88.1, 5th) and Run D (90.4, 6th)— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) June 26, 2019
But earned sub-70.0 in Pass-Rush (61.0, 30th) and Coverage (66.8, 29th)
Both weaknesses were addressed with a priority FA early this offseason (EDGE T. Flowers, CB J. Coleman)
- Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman spoke to scouts from every division in the NFL to see what they’re thoughts on each team. The article offers some in-depth looks into a few teams but only gives a little info on on the Lions. It’s positive stuff too.
“Have had one of the busiest offseasons of any franchise, led by an overhaul of their defensive personnel with the additions of Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman and Andrew Adams. Some scouts think it will translate into nine or 10 wins. Some aren’t so sure.”
- Taylor Decker, his wife, and Tori Petry visited the Detroit Zoo and filmed it for a new video series in which players visit landmarks in Detroit. It’s a nice plug for the zoo that I personally look forward to going back to. My third grade class adopted a wolverine there back in 1994. I’d like to check in out on it.
- The Calvin Johnson money dispute continues on with no clear resolution in sight. Barry Sanders chimed in during the PGA’s Rocket Mortgage Classic Pro-Am golf tournament. Sanders was in a similar situation to Johnson upon his early retirement, though his relationship with the Lions has since been mended.
- You’ve probably noticed that it’s “What If?” week here at SB Nation. Our “friends” at Blogging the Boys recorded a podcast running through one what-if scenario every Detroit Lions fan has already gone through:
It’s “what if” week at @SBNationNFL and in the spirit of that...— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) June 25, 2019
What if the penalty flag against Anthony Hitchens back in the 2014 playoffs wasn’t picked up? @rjochoa and @TomRyleBTB discuss. https://t.co/hWyih3igfW
- Chris Burke of The Athletic gave his latest crack at the Lions’ 53-man roster (subscription required), which has a few surprises, including no Kenny Wiggins.