It’s pretty well known at this point: the Detroit Lions are in the beginning stages of a rebuild.
New general manager. New head coach. New quarterback. The reset button has been pressed in Allen Park.
And so, fans will be looking toward the future, which isn’t exactly a new concept for Detroit sports fans these days.
ESPN provided a bit of a road map for all 32 NFL teams, providing their “Future Power Rankings” which takes into account roster, drafting ability, front office and coaching skill.
According to ESPN’s panel of experts — writer Jeremy Fowler, analysts Louis Riddick and Field Yates and sports analytics specialist Seth Walder — Lions fans will need plenty of patience.
The Lions were ranked second-to-last, 31st, in the power rankings, with a score of 65.1 on a 100-point scale.
They ranked lowest in overall roster (minus the quarterbacks) at 59.3, also 31st in the league. So yeah, there is work to do.
“Perhaps no franchise is positioned to play the patient game more than Detroit, as new general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell have little pressure on them this season or likely even next,” Yates wrote. “Detroit has extra draft capital ahead with much better cap flexibility starting in 2022; it plans to build the roster through the trenches, as was evidenced through its 2021 draft class. This is going to take a while, but there appears to be a blueprint.”
And speaking of Campbell, he presents perhaps the team’s biggest worry. The coaching staff graded out to a 66.8 (impressive considering they’ve coached zero games together, but those little details only make these rankings harder), good for 25th in the league.
Riddick, who interviewed for the Lions’ GM job last year, is impressed with Campbell’s staff.
“Now, the question for me is how players will take to his leadership style. This is an intense guy who talked about biting kneecaps at his introductory news conference. Leadership comes in many different forms, and only time will tell if his style will pay off,” Riddick wrote.
The Lions’ highest score game in the draft: a 72.5, 23rd in the NFL.
The only team below the Lions? The Houston Texans, who seem to be in rebuild mode, too, since their quarterback, Deshaun Watson, reportedly asked for a trade. And that was before he was accused by more than 20 women of sexual assault this offseason.
The Packers lead the NFC North at 13th, though their prospects for this season and the next three solely rest on the future of Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings are 18th and the Bears are 27th.
The Chiefs, who have played in the last two Super Bowls, are first, followed by the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, the Ravens, Bills and then … the Browns.
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