Heading into this more-than-unusual season, Kenny Golladay is projected to be the most improved Detroit Lion of 2020, according to one NFL network analyst.
NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund released forecasts of the most improved player on each NFC team in 2020. She explains that per Next Gen Stats, Golladay earned the second-most yards on deep targets in the league last season at 546 yards — and that was with hardly any separation.
“He averaged the fewest yards of separation on all targets (only 1.9 yards) among those with a minimum of 50 targets,” she writes.
Despite being well covered, Golladay was still racking up the yards. One could imagine more separation would only improve his production, and that requires two things — the first being a healthy Matthew Stafford, of course.
And secondly, more balanced play calling. That requires the Lions getting the ground game up and running, now with D’Andre Swift and a healthy Kerryon Johnson. This leads me to your supplemental piece of today’s notes — Justin Rogers for The Detroit News expands on how a consistent run game is the key to unlocking the full potential of the Lions’ offense.
With those two improvements, Frelund argues Golladay may be the most improved Lion this season.
“Given his deep-ball results even in tough circumstances, the increase in quality targets coming his way drives an increase in forecasted production,” she writes.
And onto the rest of your notes.
- Pro Football Focus ranked the 32 starting quarterbacks, placing Matthew Stafford in the third tier. “Volatile or conservative quarterbacks who will rely even more heavily on supporting cast and playcalling. Tier 3 quarterbacks can post top-10 production in any given year in the right situation.”
- Dave Birkett for the Detroit Free Press explains how the pandemic might leave the Lions in a salary camp crunch.
- Some Jeff Okudah stats for ya:
Jeff Okudah only allowed more than 3 receptions in coverage 1 time from 2018-19, it was in the College Football Playoff against Clemson— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) July 26, 2020
63.3 Passer Rating
5 targets vs Tee Higgins
4 targets vs Justyn Ross
Both recorded only 2 receptions https://t.co/E3BpxFHVYP
- A training camp preview from detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman on cornerbacks. Also from Tim, how the loss of a preseason affects the Lions.
- This from Marvin Jones Jr: