August 18, 2022
The Detroit Lions are adding more playmakers and surging in the mind of ESPN.

Most folks figure the Detroit Lions are turning a corner as it relates to building their roster, but tangible proof of that may not have been visible until now.

ESPN has some receipts, however, and they show that the team could be steamrolling in the right direction in terms of adding offensive weaponry to their roster.

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In an ESPN insider piece, writer Bill Barnwell ranked every team’s skill position groups. The Lions came in more than a bit higher than some might have assumed.

Detroit placed 17th in the exercise for 2022, That was up from 25th last year and 31st in 2020. As Barnwell noted, he feels the Lions are “on the right track” for the future in terms of adding players to help boost their playmaking in a bigger way. A big reason why is Amon-Ra St. Brown. Barnwell admitted if St. Brown can continue to produce, the Lions could have something special.

Additionally, Barnwell said he saw rookie Jameson Williams as the true x-factor given what he could do for the roster moving forward. As a result, he admitted he could see Detroit even higher next season.

“The difference-maker for the Lions could be what they get out of star rookie Jameson Williams. The No. 12 overall pick is recovering from a torn left ACL suffered during the national title game in January, and his status for the start of the season is uncertain. As was the case with St. Brown, we might not see Williams’ best until the end of the season, leaving Detroit poised to rise up these rankings next year,” Barnwell wrote.

The rise is something to take note of, given the fact the Lions traded Matthew Stafford and lost productive names in the past decade including Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. All have not been easily replaced perhaps until now.

At this point, it seems a if the rebuild is going in the right direction in terms of re-stocking that playmaking stable, which is great news for the Detroit offensive attack.

Lions Offense Has Made Solid Improvements

Coming into the last few seasons, it’s easy to see how the Lions have beefed up their group in a big way. The team has added several weapons to the mix including wideouts like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, DJ Chark, Quintez Cephus and Jameson Williams. The team drafted running back D’Andre Swift and signed Jamaal Williams, and also added T.J. Hockenson at tight end. This group has combined to form a solid young nucleus for the present and future, and is clearly looking like one the Lions can grow well with in time. Combine that with an offensive line that could be top-five in the NFL, and the Lions could be on the right track in a big way.

The wild card? The Lions should figure to get even more dangerous in the coming years as they make even more additions to their offense. It’s not hard to see how the team has already made steady gains in the last few years in terms of team building, and it’s something that is very hard to ignore.

Quarterback Question Lingers Over Lions

If there’s one question that can slow this rating or boost it into 2023, it will be what happens for Detroit at quarterback. The team will head into the 2022 season with Jared Goff under center, and depending on what happens this season, the team could decide to stick with Goff into the future. In 2023, the Lions could elect to chase a top quarterback in the draft as many have projected they will, but the jury is out as it relates to who will hold the position down into the future. If the Lions get elite quarterback play whether from Goff or an outsider, it could help boost them higher on this list.

For now, things are still going very well for the Lions in terms of changing the culture and getting more playmakers. Only time will tell if they can continue the surge upward in these rankings.

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