By Ashley Dunkak
Sporting News picked three players for its NFL Preseason All-Pro Team from a team that went 4-12 in 2012. Detroit Lions Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley all made the list.
Johnson, widely heralded as the best receiver in the league and possibly one of the best ever, got the title of the best in the NFL, while defensive tackles Suh and Fairley were labeled ones to watch.
Johnson averaged 16.1 yards per catch in 2012, when he recorded 1,964 yards on 122 receptions. Nicknamed “Megatron” for his freakish athleticism and strength, Johnson is also touted for his work ethic. Fellow Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson said Johnson has improved every season, even though it is hard to convince people that improvement from someone that good is even possible.
Suh, like Johnson, was taken second overall by the Lions, and, like Johnson, he has lived up to his draft status. Over the past three seasons Suh recorded 100 tackles, including 22 sacks. Last season he had 25 tackles and eight sacks.
Fairley, another first-round pick, made big strides from 2011 to 2012. Over 13 games last year, he recorded 27 tackles and five and a half sacks. He also forced two fumbles.