Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Detroit Lions 2023 Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Detroit Lions in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 13

Most improved: Secondary

The front office was intentional in its offseason additions through free agency and the draft, particularly with the signings of cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley, former Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and second-round draft pick Brian Branch from Alabama. Detroit's secondary was a glaring weakness last year, allowing 82 plays of 20-plus yards -- which was the most in the NFL. Also, 23% of opponent plays went for 10-or-more yards, which was the second-highest rate in the NFL, so they needed a major upgrade in that department, and they seem to have the guys in place to take the next step.

NFL.com -- Rank: 11

With two picks in the first round, the Lions entered the draft with a golden opportunity to significantly improve their defense overnight. While they did use the No. 18 pick on linebacker Jack Campbell, they actually spent their top pick -- No. 12 overall, following a trade down from No. 6 -- on running back Jahmyr Gibbs, a move that prompted D'Andre Swift's trade to the Eagles two days later. If Gibbs becomes a star, no one will take issue with the choice. But was this the best use of Detroit's assets? They could have paired Aidan Hutchinson with another promising edge rusher, or added elite young talent at cornerback after cutting ties with former first-rounder Jeff Okudah. Not necessarily a bad draft, but a curious one.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

This is a team on the rise with a lot of good, young players in a division that isn't great right now. That's usually a formula for success. Watch out for the Lions.

USA Today -- Rank: 10

Love their draft or hate it, you probably have to like them as divisional favorites coming off a season when they had the best record (5-1) in NFC North games.

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

Draft takeaway: The Lions seem to think there's a path to winning with big-boy football while the rest of the league pivots to basketball on grass. Drafting a running back, linebacker and tight end all in the top 34 picks is a risky bet. Let's just hope they left the team facility before making it.

Hype man: We have one of the best offensive lines in the league and now Jahmyr Gibbs gives us the juice to make those holes turn into home runs. Jack Campbell and Brian Branch seem like perfect fits to bite some kneecaps, and now we even have Hendon Hooker to dream on as a long-term option. This is our year, baby.

Dan Downer: We spent the 12th overall pick and almost $9 million guaranteed to upgrade from Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift to Gibbs and David Montgomery, which might not even be that much of an upgrade. We couldn't have used Lukas Van Ness or Christian Gonzalez more?

PFF -- Rank: 15

Brian Branch primarily played nickel back in his time at Alabama, and following the trade of Jeffrey Okudah, it seems as if that role in Detroit is his for the taking. This would allow Emmanuel Moseley to stick outside and provide Detroit with a versatile group of defensive backs between Branch, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Kerby Joseph.

PFT -- Rank: 6

Loved 'em with their 8-2 record after Halloween. I still find myself smitten with the Lions. But curious move this offseason. The Lions took what wasn't broken and tried to fix it. Jamaal Williams/D'Andre Swift last year: 1,608 rushing yards, 4.5 per rush, 22 rushing touchdowns. Now both are gone. That's pressure on Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, particularly when the head coach is a big-time running guy.

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