NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Dec 11, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates after running for the game winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Lions win 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a draft that most thought of as “ok” or maybe even “good”, there was a familiar feeling of optimism coming out of Allen Park surrounding the Detroit Lions. Now that the experts have begun their ranking processes, that optimism might be fading away into obscurity.

Pro Football Focus released their roster ratings (pay site) for each team in the NFL, ranking them 1-32. For the Lions, it wasn’t the best score imaginable. In fact, far from it. Detroit received a ranking of 28th, better than only four other teams. Their ratings for the individual players were interesting, as well.

Each player in the NFL was graded on every play of every game in 2016, and that is where these ratings come from. A rating of 90 or higher is considered “elite”, 80-89.99 is considered “good/high quality”, 70-79.99 is “average”, 60.9-69.99 is “below average”, and 0-60 is “poor”.


NFL: Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang (70) looks at the field during the first half of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Each team’s biggest strength and weakness were evaluated in the rankings as well. Detroit’sbiggest strength was listed as T.J. Lang, who did not allow a hit or sack while playing with the Green Bay Packers last season. For Matthew Stafford, who dropped back to pass 658 times last season, this is good news. Lang and Stafford both received ratings of 85.7, which tied for the team lead.


Detroit’s biggest weakness was labeled as the linebacker position, citing the fact that rookie Jarrad Davis will need to play immediately, and Paul Worrilow – who was signed in the off-season, missed 54 tackles over the last three seasons.

Players receiving a “poor” classification (60.9 or lower) include tight end Eric Ebron (53.9), wide receiver T.J. Jones (54.8), guard Graham Glasgow (42.1), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (46.2), linebacker Tahir Whitehead (37.7), and cornerback Quandre Diggs (49.5).

While nobody on the team received an “elite” rating, there were eight players who fell into the “good/high quality” classification. Those players were Stafford, Lang, center Travis Swanson (81.9), right tackle Ricky Wagner (84.5), cornerbacks Darius Slay (84) and Nevin Lawson (80), and safeties Glover Quin (80.9) and Tavon Wilson (82.9).

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