2023 Detroit Lions: Position Group Power Rankings

Here is how we believe the 2023 Detroit Lions position groups rank heading into training camp.

The 2023 Detroit Lions have a chance to be special, and a big reason why is because of the roster that general manager Brad Holmes has built. That being said, there are certainly some position groups on the team that are much stronger than others. I thought it would be fun to rank the Lions' position groups prior to the start of training camp.

Penei Sewell 2023 Detroit Lions quarterback Penei Sewell PFF 2021 NFL re-draft

2023 Detroit Lions: Position Group Power Rankings

As you are about to see, I have ranked the 2023 Detroit Lions' position groups from worst to best. Of course, the offensive line got the nod as the best position group on the team, while the tight ends group has a lot to prove before they can move up in the rankings.

8 – Tight Ends

The 2023 Detroit Lions' tight end room has undergone significant changes, with Brock Wright taking over as the primary option. Wright's strength lies in his in-line blocking, ensuring him consistent playing time despite his limited receiving abilities. However, the real excitement in this position group stems from the addition of rookie Sam LaPorta. LaPorta's unique skill set goes beyond that of a traditional tight end, combining size, strength, and impressive pass-catching abilities. His statistics at Iowa further exemplify his potential impact. James Mitchell, a fifth-round pick in 2022, provides additional depth to the group, showcasing promise despite a torn ACL in his final college season.

Projected Starter:

Sam LaPorta

7 – Linebackers

The 2023 Detroit Lions have bolstered their linebacker corps with the signing of Alex Anzalone and the addition of rookie Jack Campbell, igniting competition for starting roles alongside promising young linebacker Derrick Barnes. Anzalone's leadership and understanding of the team's defensive strategy go beyond his impressive statistics, while Campbell brings versatility, football intelligence, and a physical presence. Barnes has shown growth and maturity, earning praise from coaches, and Malcolm Rodriguez exceeded expectations in his rookie season with his swift reactions and exceptional drive. The 2023 Detroit Lions' linebacker unit is poised to contribute to the team's success under the guidance of experienced veterans and emerging talent.

Projected Starters:

  • Alex Anzalone
  • Jack Campbell

6 – Wide Receivers

The 2023 Detroit Lions wide receiver group has faced challenges this offseason, notably with Jameson Williams receiving a six-game suspension for gambling activities. However, his blazing speed makes him one of the fastest players in the NFL, and his projected return in Week 7 is expected to have an immediate impact. Amon-Ra St. Brown, coming off a Pro Bowl season, looks to take on a leadership role and drive the team toward playoff success. Marvin Jones Jr., returning to the Lions after a productive stint with the Jaguars, brings consistency and reliability with his career stats. The depth of the receiver unit is bolstered by veterans Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond, who have built a strong connection with quarterback Jared Goff. Rookie Antoine Green, known for his deep-threat abilities, has the potential to earn playing time and provide a valuable weapon in the end zone. Despite challenges, the Lions' wide receiver group possesses talent, experience, and potential, offering hope for a dynamic passing attack in the upcoming season.

Amon-Ra St. Brown 2023 Detroit Lions Pro Football Focus Jamaal Williams Jameson Williams NFL WR Rankings NFL Top 100

Projected Starters:

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Marvin Jones Jr.

5 – Secondary

Thanks to an assertive offseason strategy by GM Brad Holmes, the 2023 Detroit Lions' secondary unit has undergone a remarkable transformation. Previously ranked at the bottom, they now claim the number two spot in the rankings. The addition of C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cam Sutton, along with emerging talents like Kerby Joseph and Jerry Jacobs, has significantly improved the frontline of the secondary. Gardner-Johnson brings versatility and skills to cover multiple positions, while Sutton has the potential to become an elite cornerback. The return of Tracy Walker and the arrival of Emmanuel Moseley from injuries further strengthen the unit. Additionally, the Lions' draft steal, Brian Branch, showcases versatility that aligns with Aaron Glenn's defense strategy. With a revamped secondary, the Lions are poised for a strong and impressive performance, making them one of the most improved secondaries in the league.

Projected Starters:

  • Emmanuel Moseley (CB)
  • Cam Sutton (CB)
  • Tracy Walker (S)
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson (NB)
  • Kerby Joseph (S)

4 – Defensive Line

The 2023 Detroit Lions defensive line boasts a talented and versatile unit. Aidan Hutchinson is poised to become a star, and Alim McNeill‘s physical transformation as a defensive tackle adds to the unit's strength. Reliable contributions from Isaiah Buggs, John Cominsky, and James Houston solidify the formidable starting lineup. Excitement grows when considering the potential of the projected second and third lines. Houston, after an impressive eight sacks in eight games, aims to double his sack total in 2023. Brodric Martin, an intriguing talent acquired through a trade, brings athleticism and surprise potential. Josh Paschal, recovering from injury, is anticipated to make his mark. Then, there is Charles Harris, who hopes to have a bounce-back season in 2023. With a combination of rising stars, hidden gems, and returning players, the Lions' defensive line promises to be a dominant force in the upcoming season, providing a strong foundation for the team's success.

Projected Starters:

  • Aidan Hutchinson (Edge)
  • James Houston (SAM)
  • Alim McNeill (DT)
  • Isaiah Buggs (DT)
  • John Cominsky (Edge)

3 – Quarterbacks

Jared Goff, after an impressive 2022 season, solidifies his position as the 2023 Detroit Lions' leading quarterback. His stellar performance, highlighted by 29 touchdowns and a low interception count, garnered high praise and exceeded expectations. With career-best stats and a streak of nine games without an interception, Goff enters the 2023 season with momentum. The continuity of having the same offensive coordinator and QB coach for consecutive seasons bodes well for his development. Goff's accuracy and play-action skills often go unnoticed but are crucial to the team's success. While Nate Sudfeld provides reliable backup support, all eyes are on rookie 3rd-round pick Hendon Hooker, who, once fully recovered from his ACL injury, is expected to step up if Goff is sidelined. Hooker has the opportunity to learn from Goff and has been praised by Coach Campbell for his maturity and potential. That being said, it sounds like the rookie could miss the entire 2023 campaign.

2023 Detroit Lions Super Bowl Jared Goff 2023 NFL Draft Peter King Perfect Season NFL MVP

Projected Starter:

  • Jared Goff

2 – Running Backs

The additions of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs have created a versatile and dynamic running-back duo. Montgomery brings power and reliability as a runner and receiver, while Gibbs adds an electrifying element with his explosive speed and playmaking ability. Undrafted free agent rookie Mohamed Ibrahim shouldn't be overlooked, as his impressive college career and physical style make him a potential asset, particularly in short-yardage situations. With Montgomery, Gibbs, and the emerging talents in the backfield, the 2023 Detroit Lions running game shows promise for the upcoming season.

Projected Starters:

  • David Montgomery
  • Jahmyr Gibbs

1 – Offensive Line

The 2023 Detroit Lions offensive line is widely recognized as one of the top units in the NFL, boasting elite talent and impressive depth. Led by standout players like Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell, Taylor Decker, and Jonah Jackson, this line provides a strong foundation for quarterback Jared Goff's protection. The return of Halapoulivaati Vaitai and the addition of versatile OL Graham Glasgow further bolsters the group, ensuring both skill and flexibility. The Lions' offensive line is poised for success in the upcoming season and beyond, making it a force to be reckoned with in the league.

Frank Ragnow 2023 Detroit Lions

Projected Starters:

  • Taylor Decker (LT)
  • Jonah Jackson (LG)
  • Frank Ragnow (C)
  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai (RG)
  • Penei Sewell (RT)


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