Over the past week, PFF released their top 50 players for the 2021 NFL season. Their rankings were based on 2021 projections more so than 2020 performance, and positional value was not considered. In other words, a quarterback was just as likely to finish at the top of the list as a guard, or linebacker, or safety.
The Detroit Lions were completely shut out of PFF’s list this year. This is the second straight year the Lions did not make PFF’s top 50 list. The last time any Lions player donned the analytics site’s offseason list was in 2019 when Damon Harrison (49) and Trey Flowers (46) barely made it on.
The most likely candidates to land on this year’s list were likely not that close to making it. Lions center Frank Ragnow is coming off a second-team All-Pro performance, but no centers ended up making PFF’s top 50 list, and only two interior offensive linemen made it (Quenton Nelson was fourth, Zack Martin was 13th). T.J. Hockenson, who is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he finished third among tight ends in receiving yards, may be the best other candidate to make the list. However, only two tight ends made PFF’s final list: Travis Kelce (3), and George Kittle (9). And for you Jack Fox fans, there were no punters on the list.
The Lions aren’t the only team shut out of PFF’s list. In fact, there were a total of 10 teams that did not appear in the top 50: the Lions, Eagles, Football Team, Bengals, Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, Texans, Jaguars, and Raiders.