Detroit Lions rise in Sports Illustrated NFL power rankings


The Detroit Lions have been busy improving their list, and while some people haven’t noticed, many have, especially after a decently successful NFL draft several weeks ago. After that, power rankings went up, and while Lions went down in many, they managed to move up a bit on a recent Sports Illustrated list. Detroit had moved up from 25th to 22nd place, and while it was a modest jump, it was a jump nonetheless.

Here’s a look at what was written in the piece about where Detroit is now placed and why:

“The Lions were perhaps the best team in fourth place last season, but NFC North will be another tough job.”

The free agency was pretty profitable for Detroit as they had a pretty good group. Trey Flowers, Jesse James, Justin Coleman, Rashaan Melvin, CJ Anderson and Andrew Adams could still save a lot of money for the future.

As a result, Detroit was wide open to what to do in this draft. They didn’t have to force a position just for reasons, and while they still have many needs across the roster, they did a good job addressing most of them already. Already signed players give the Lions what it takes to start 2019 in excellent depth, and depth is the only way they’ll make the step from pretender to real competitor. It’s safe to say that the catchphrase for this Nashville design will be the overall depth of the team, and that’s true given the big picture.

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In the first round, the Lions grabbed TJ Hockenson from Iowa. In round two, the Lions linebackers added Jahlani Tavai. The third round brought Will Harris safety to Boston College. In the fourth round, the team got the defensive end from Austin Bryant. In the fifth round, the Lions designed cornerback Amani Oruwariye. In the sixth round, Travis Fulgham and runner Ty Johnson started, and eventually the Lions finalized the draft by defeating Isaac Nauta and PJ Johnson on round seven.

Combined with a young linebacking group, there is hope that the Lions will become one of the NFL’s most elite defense groups if they are able to continue the upward trending arrow and with a new offensive mindset could take some new steps there also. Of course, there is reason to hope that it could soon as they already have a good place to start for some solid and emerging talent in the field. Adding a ton of high quality draft picks to the mix will further aid the turnaround.

Lions are going to want to turn around in 2019, and they’re not going to get a lot of hype and publicity if they try. The team has a chance to sit back in the weeds and strike as the releases and current power rankings don’t bring much love even as they move up in this one.


Dusty Kennedy