Detroit Lions’ three best players according to Pro Football Focus not a huge surprise

SideLion Report

Given how they’ve built the roster the Detroit Lions’ three best players, according to Pro Football Focus, aren’t a huge surprise.

The Detroit Lions are building in a way that many would call “the right way”, with a long-term quarterback the final big piece to get. In the first year of the Brad Holmes/Dan Campbell regime, their second and third draft picks in the 2021 draft were defensive lineman (Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeill). Build the trenches, and do the rest as it fits.

With the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft, the Lions made it three first-round picks on their offensive line by taking Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. He had a solid rookie season, especially considering he played both tackle spots around the finger injury that sidelined left tackle Taylor Decker for the first eight games, but his expectations for himself are high.

Pro Football Focus’ 3 best Detroit Lions aren’t too surprising

Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey created a list of the three best players for each NFL team. In some cases it’s a major reflection of an organization’s priorities. For the Lions, given what anyone would call the best unit on the team, the top three are not surprising.

Center Frank Ragnow, left tackle Decker and right tackle Sewell are the Lions’ three best players according to PFF. The site ranked Ragnow No. 3 among centers in the league, so he was an easy one. Decker and Sewell were ranked No. 22 and No. 19 respectively in PFF’s newest offensive tackle rankings, as a rare top 20-25 pair from the same team.

Here’s what Linsey wrote.

The Lions have made it clear that they want to build this roster through the trenches, so it shouldn’t surprise that the offensive line is the strength of this roster.

Decker and Sewell profile as one of the better tackle duos in the NFL after Sewell started to settle into the right tackle spot over the second half of his rookie season. Ragnow, meanwhile, is an elite NFL center. He’s improved his overall PFF grade every season in the NFL and has graded above the 90th percentile as a run blocker in gap and zone schemes at center over the past three seasons.

Three first-round picks are the centerpieces of the Lions’ best unit. So it’s only right they should be, and accurate that they are, deemed to be the team’s three best players by at least one outlet.

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