According to one annual ranking of the NFL’s the top QB-RB-pass catcher trios, this Detroit Lions combo falls into the middle of the pack.
A list was released at NFL.com last week to rank the quarterback/running back/pass catcher combos for all 32 teams in the league. It’s mid-July after all, so there’s not much else to talk about at this point in the football calendar unless your team has a bunch of guys getting arrested.
Thankfully, Detroit Lions players have been behaving themselves so far, which leads to the ranking on the NFL.com offensive trios list as their most discussion-worthy topic of the moment. Actually, they called it ‘triplets’, but that doesn’t really sound right to me, so for the purposes of this, I’ll stick with ‘trios’.
Lions Ranking: 19th overall (ahead of the Bears, behind Minnesota and Green Bay)
For anyone seeking any new revelations or previously-hidden insights, you’re unlikely to find it from this list. However, it does give a fairly objective look at what type of offensive firepower we’ll be working with this year, plus it’s one indicator of league-wide respect.
It’s not a bad idea to look outside our bubble and see the current national perception of Matthew Stafford (spoiler alert: he’s average), or if anyone outside of Detroit also thinks Kerryon Johnson is a star in the making (spoiler alert #2: ehh, sort of).
The Trio: Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay
In creating the rankings, NFL.com Deputy Editor Ali Bhanpuri picked the projected starting quarterback, running back, and pass catcher (could be either wide receiver or tight end) for each team and ranked them 1 through 32 against their peers in the league.
No extra points for depth, so having C.J. Anderson as a capable backup doesn’t do much, nor does a well balanced crop of receivers and tight ends. The lowest aggregate score of the three positions earned the top spot, and in this case, it was the Saints (with Drew Brees-5th, Alvin Kamara-3rd, and Michael Thomas-5th).
As far as the Lions go, it’s a no-brainer that Stafford represents the quarterback part of the equation, and that Kerryon takes up the running back spot. The only real room for debate could be pass catcher, where Marvin Jones has put up strong numbers since joining the Lions (until a season ending injury last year), and T.J. Hockenson has a full plate of expectations and should get plenty of opportunities to live up to them. While he wasn’t quite ready for the role last year, hopefully 3rd year Kenny Golladay can separate himself as the true #1 receiver in Detroit.
As a side note, it hadn’t occurred to me just how young the Lions are in most of the scoring positions heading into 2019. The top receiver is only in his 3rd year, the running back is in year two, and the (hopefully) best tight end is a rookie.