Detroit Lions 2017 Offensive PFF Rankings

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Matthew Stafford, PFF Ranking: 14th (83.3)

QB Leader: Tom Brady (94.9)

Matthew Stafford had an excellent season statistically, but there were some notable games where he did not play well enough to deserve a top-5 or top-10 ranking by PFF. One notable statistic that is tracked is Turnover-worthy throws, where he ranked 25th in the NFL with 3.7%. Essentially, one in every 25 of his throws could have been intercepted, a stat that Stafford will look to clean up going into the offseason. However, for a season where Stafford had little running game, little pass protection, and fought off injuries to not miss a start, 14th is a ranking the deserves discussion.

Golden Tate, PFF Ranking: 7th (86.4)

Comparable WR Leader: Antonio Brown (93.7)

Golden Tate finishes the season 7th in receptions (92), 14th in targets (122), and led all receivers in yards after catch (546), which was over half of his total yards for the season (1,003). Since being signed by the Lions in 2014, Tate has become one of the hardest players in the NFL to bring down, leading the NFL in WR forced missed tackles by a receiver in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Having found a niche in the Lions offense, it will be interesting see if he receives the contract extension he wants this offseason. Tate turns 29 in August and has just one year left on his contract.

Marvin Jones Jr., PFF Ranking: 18th (82.2)

Comparable WR Leader: Julio Jones (91.6)

Marvin Jones Jr. had by far his best NFL season in 2017, finishing with 1,101 yards and 9 touchdowns on just 61 receptions. By season’s end, it felt like Stafford was taking a shot downfield to Jones Jr. at least once a game, developing a trust similar to the days of Calvin Johnson. With his ability to win the 50-50 battles, Jones Jr. has set his goal to improve on other facets of his game, specifically yards after the catch. With improvements in his short and medium receiving, the 6’2″ Jones Jr. is on the cusp of being considered a top-10 receiver in the NFL.

Eric Ebron, PFF Ranking: 15th (75.6)

Comparable TE Leader: Rob Gronkowski (92.7)

Considering his sloppy start to the season, Ebron finished the second half of the season playing like Lions fans expected him to since being taken in the 1st round of the 2014 draft. In the month of December, he was second in the NFC for tight end receiving yards to Evan Engram. Over the second of the season, the Lions began to utilize his athleticism versus linebackers over the middle and the edge, resulting in more targets and greater efficiency by Ebron. His rookie contract is up this season so it will be interesting to see what the Lions front office decides to do.

Offensive Line PFF Scores

TJ Lang, PFF Ranking: 14th (79.1)

Rick Wagner, PFF Ranking: 13th (81.9)

Both Lang and Wagner were fighting injuries all season, leading to the Lions offensive line struggles for 2017. A healthy starting five in 2018 bodes well for a Lions team that has not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013.

Notable Low PFF Scores

Travis Swanson, PFF Ranking: 33rd (43.1)

Swanson has been forced to miss key games over the last two seasons due to concussions. He is not expected to be back in a Lions uniform next season, as Graham Glasgow performed well as the starting center in his absence.

Taylor Decker, PFF Ranking: 47th (60.5)

Playing only half of the season due to injury, take this ranking with a grain of salt. Decker was a top-10 tackle as a rookie in 2016, so expect 2018 to be another strong showing when he is fully healthy and can have a full preseason.

Ameer Abdullah, PFF Ranking: 61st (42.1)

Abdullah inconsistencies led to a demotion in the back rotation by season’s end. Running back Theo Riddick (77.4) and Tion Green (60.1) played the majority of snaps and Green finished with 3.9 yards per carry, leading the Lions. Abdullah has breakout potential but will need to improve his ball carrier vision and ball security issues if he expects to earn more snaps. There is also rumors he is on the trade block for the Lions to move up the draft. Abdullah will be a player to watch out for this offseason.



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