The 2023 NFL Draft has concluded, and football enthusiasts eagerly await the upcoming season. As the dust settles, ESPN has released their latest NFL Power Rankings, sparking discussions and debates among fans and analysts alike. Surprisingly, the Detroit Lions, who were initially ranked at No. 9 heading into the draft, have now found themselves sliding down to No. 14 in ESPN's rankings. This unexpected shift has raised eyebrows and left many wondering about the factors that influenced this change.
- Pre-Draft Optimism: The Lions entered the 2023 NFL Draft with high hopes, holding the No. 9 spot in ESPN's Power Rankings.
- Draft Impact: Following the conclusion of the draft, ESPN reevaluated its rankings, and the Lions saw a significant drop from No. 9 to No. 14.
- Factors at Play: Several factors could have influenced the Lions' decline in ESPN's Power Rankings.
Detroit Lions NFL Draft class causes them to drop in latest Power Rankings
Here is what Eric Woodyard of ESPN has to say about the Lions' free agency and the draft.
The front office was intentional in its offseason additions through free agency and the draft, particularly with the signings of cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley, former Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and second-round draft pick Brian Branch from Alabama. Detroit's secondary was a glaring weakness last year, allowing 82 plays of 20-plus yards — which was the most in the NFL. Also, 23% of opponent plays went for 10-or-more yards, which was the second-highest rate in the NFL, so they needed a major upgrade in that department, and they seem to have the guys in place to take the next step. — Eric Woodyard
Bottom Line: Power Rankings mean very little
In the big scheme of things, NFL Power Rankings mean very little. That being said, it is interesting that the Lions dropped from No. 9 to No. 14, despite adding a ton of talent in the NFL Draft. Only time will tell how the Lions will play in 2023, but it sure seems like they will be better than the No. 14 team in the league.