Continuing this week of oddly-optimistic takes from national outlets, late last week, ESPN’s Mike Clay provided some interesting projections that painted the Detroit Lions in a somewhat promising light.
Clay ranked every NFL roster by every position, then gave his thoughts on each team’s overall roster. Notable rankings by position include the Lions in ninth at wide receiver, 25th at defensive tackle, and sixth at cornerback.
Put it all together, and Clay has the Lions with the 13th-best roster in the league, right there on the playoff bubble. That also puts them right there in contention for the NFC North title, as he has only the Packers above Detroit at 12th overall. The Vikings are next at 17th, while the Bears are way behind at 27th.
Much like the Football Outsider projections that have the Lions as NFC North favorites, Clay had similarly optimistic projections in 2019. Last year, the Lions had the 17th-best roster according to Clay. The big difference, however, is that last year he was much higher on the Lions’ division rivals. The Bears were fourth, the Packers eighth and the Vikings 12th.
So Clay’s projections lead to the same conclusion that many of these other “optimistic” articles are coming to. It’s not that the Lions are necessarily in line for a huge leap in performance, it’s that the NFC North has significantly regressed, leveling the playing field for Detroit in 2020.
- These Lions phone wallpapers are FIRE:
- Really cool story from ESPN’s Mike Rothstein about Barry Sanders recently finding about 150 fan letters written to him after they were stuffed in storage at Allen Park for well over a decade. Read some of the amazing letters here—and if you wrote one of the letters, Barry Sanders is looking for you!
Thanks again to @espn and @mikerothstein for putting that great article together!— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) August 12, 2020
That being said, if you think that you might have written one of these lost letters, I want to write back to you! Check out my website for more information! Link in bio.
- NFL teams have the ability to protect four players on their practice squad from being poached by other teams. Erik Schlitt of Lions Wire lists six players he believes the Lions should consider protecting.
- Mildly notable, T.J. Hockenson apparently passed his physical and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, as he appears in the Lions’ photo gallery from workouts earlier in the week.
- Last year, Mike Daniels got a one-year, $8.1 million deal from the Lions. This year...
Former Packers’ and Lions’ DT Mike Daniels officially agreed to terms with the Bengals on a one-year deal worth up to $2.7 million, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2020
- Speaking of rule changes, the NFL has lifted their ban on player tryouts. Read about their complicated onboarding process for new players in order to maintain a safe workplace here.