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Notes: C.J. Gardner-Johnson among NFL’s best safeties per team execs

NFL executives, scouts and coaches weighed in, and Detroit Lions’ safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson is among the league’s best.

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In anticipation of training camps opening later this month, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler—with a little help from executives, scouts, and coaches from around the NFL—ranked the top 10 safeties in the league.

Checking in at number eight on that list is Detroit Lions’ safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

“Watch, he’ll go to Detroit, make every play and get paid next year,” an NFC exec said of Gardner-Johnson. “It was his first year playing safety full-time so teams wanted to see him do it twice. People don’t always trust what they see. But don’t get it twisted, he’s worth his weight in gold. He played at a super high level.”

If you’re a Lions fan, these words have to get you pretty excited. Gardner-Johnson, along with fellow free agent defensive backs Cameron Sutton, and Emmanuel Moseley, are all figuring into the Lions’ revamped secondary. And while that is a lot of change to undergo in one offseason, the fact that they are all veterans should aid in the acclimation process.

And while Gardner-Johnson likely won’t spend a lot of time at either safety spot, the fact that this many people around the NFL are this high on him has to bode well for Detroit in 2023.

You can read the entirety of the article from Fowler here.

And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • Who are the league’s top offensive playcallers? Michael Lombardi weighs in on the topic, and you may be surprised to see just how high Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is ranked.

  • Hendon Hooker is trending in the right direction ahead of his first training camp. Josh Alper of NBC Sports has more on how the rookie quarterback is taking all of the right steps.

  • If you’re interested in getting a head start on next years draft class, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler is handing out some summer viewing by ranking the top players in each position group. First up in his series, he examines why “Caleb Williams and Drake Maye lead loaded QB class”

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