A team of ESPN analysts are offering projections for each NFL team for the next three years, deciding it fares pretty average for the Lions.
ESPN experts Jeremy Fowler, Louis Riddick, Seth Walder, and Field Yates teamed up for an article on ESPN.com to rate each team’s coaching, quarterback, front office, draft, and overall roster (minus the quarterback). The results are averaged from each panelist, then each category is weighted to create the final, overall score: roster at 30 percent, quarterback at 20 percent, draft at 15 percent, front office at 15 percent and coaching at 20 percent.
It’s an ESPN+ article, which requires a subscription, so I won’t give away too much but the Lions walk away with a 71.3 overall score. The article’s grading scale has determined that’s “average.”
Ranking coaching near dead last, the panel seems to agree the low score is due to the defense, noting Detroit ranked 29th in defensive efficiency in 2019. They mention head coach Matt Patricia is fighting for his job this season. Looking ahead: “Adding more pass-rush help will strengthen the Lions’ defensive identity,” Fowler recommends.
Positives worth noting — Stafford does land in the top 10 in the quarterback category, and Yates expects improvement these next few seasons: “This is a team that plays in a very tough division but shouldn’t surprise if they play much better football this season and beyond.”
- Another not-so-great ranking: Pro Football Focus ranked each team’s defensive line, placing the Lions near the bottom. “The Detroit defensive line is still trying to find its identity and consistency under Matt Patricia.”
- Dave Birkett for the Detroit Free Press gives his thoughts on why the Lions should worry about the NFL’s latest proposal to shrink preseason down to one game.
- Pride of Detroit writers have touched on it quite a bit, but here’s a take from 247sports.com’s Nick Kosko on how center Frank Ragnow playing at an all-time high is so vital for the Lions.
- The Lions compiled the best moments of the virtual offseason:
- An NFC North training camp preview from NFL.com, citing Matthew Stafford as the biggest strength on the roster, and the defensive backfield the biggest weakness.
- Mlive’s Benjamin Raven has a cool feature on the top 10 interception leaders in Lions history.
- Lindsay Miller for detroitlions.com talks fantasy, asking their crew which Lion they would consider drafting this season.
- A where-are-they-now from detroitlions.com columnist Mike O’Hara on defensive end William Gay.