By: Will Burchfield
Despite qualifying for the playoffs in 2016 and making some notable additions in the offseason, the Lions will enter the 2017 campaign with a dearth of top-level talent.
According to Pro Football Focus, not a single player on Detroit’s roster ranks within the top 50 in the NFL.
The Lions were one of just seven teams to be shut out of PFF’s top-50 players list. The others: the Jets, the Bills, the Vikings, the Bears, the 49ers and the Titans. Those six teams went a combined 34-62 in 2016.
The Cowboys led the way with five featured players, including three offensive linemen.
Just last week, Matthew Stafford was voted the No. 31 player in the league in a player vote conducted by NFL Network.
“He’s just really coming into his own and could be in that class of the top-five (quarterbacks) not too long from now,” said Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who was a notable omission from PFF’s top-50 ranking.
Five quarterbacks cracked PFF’s list, including Aaron Rogers at No. 5 overall.
The Lions went 9-7 in 2016, led in large part by Matthew Stafford’s NFL-record eight fourth-quarter comebacks.
They signed two highly-regarded offensive lineman over the winter in tackle Rick Wagner and guard T.J. Lang.