Detroit Lions very well-represented on Pro Football Focus' Top 101 players for 2023

On Pro Football Focus' top 101 players from the 2023 season, it's no shock to find the Lions are very well represented.

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The Detroit Lions had a great 2023 season, ending plenty of droughts (division title, home playoff game, playoff win) along the way. The rebuild led by general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell has gone faster than probably expected, and the it's not a stretch to say the Lions are in a "Super Bowl window."

The Lions have the look of a sustainable contender, driven by Holmes' savvy drafting that will keep the pipeline of young talent full even as some notable players from his initial draft classes graduate into big second contracts.

Pro Football Focus is out with its top-101 players from the 2023 season. As could be expected, the Lions are well-represented on the list.

Detroit Lions very well-represented on PFF's top 101 players list for 2023

Counting down from No. 101, we find the first Lions at No. 84 and No. 83.

84. CB Brian Branch, Detroit Lions

"Branch was among the Lions' stable of talented rookies, showing that measurables and NFL Combine times aren’t everything. He was installed as the team’s primary slot defender and earned impressive PFF grades across the board, with 11 pass breakups to go with three interceptions."

83. QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

"With offensive coordinator Ben Johnson staying for another year, Goff continued to thrive for the Lions. He had a strange collapse for a run of division games midway through the season, but outside of that, he played at an All-Pro level for the Lions."

Into the top-80, two more Lions enter the list.

79. TE Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

"The rookie LaPorta was one of the stars of 2023 for the Lions‘ offense. He had 10 touchdowns in the regular season and added another in the wild-card round against the Rams. A late injury impacted his effectiveness, but he still notched more than 1,000 receiving yards."

LaPorta exceeded even the loftiest of early expectations as a rookie, setting every single-season record for a Lions' tight end and the NFL record for catches by a rookie tight end.

78. DT Alim McNeill, Detroit Lions

'Detroit’s defensive front had been just Aidan Hutchinson at times, but Alim McNeill really took an important step forward in 2023. He posted an 86.8 PFF grade for the season, notching 43 quarterback pressures and 20 defensive stops."

McNeill was PFF's "secret superstar" for the Lions from last season, but if he keeps performing like this he's not going to be a secret much longer.

Going all the way down to the top 25, there's more Lions.

25. C Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

"Ragnow was a bulldozer all season for the Lions‘ offensive line. His 91.3 PFF run-blocking grade was the best of any center in the game, and he performed some late-season heroics by battling through injuries to anchor the middle of that line in critical situations to keep Detroit's season on track."

The litany of injuries Ragnow dealt with last season adds a layer to how good he was. He was PFF's No. 1-graded center.

17. EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions

"The second overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Hutchinson has emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the game. He broke the 100-pressure barrier for the regular season and added another 20 across three postseason performances."

Hutchinson was often a one-man show off the edge last season, but when the seal finally broke for sacks they came in bunches.

15. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

"St. Brown continues to improve year over year and is one of the NFL's very best receivers in an offense that is cooking with gas under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. He averaged 2.59 yards per route run and dropped only five passes from 190 targets in 2023."

St. Brown is set to become one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL with a contract extension that's coming this offseason.

And finally, in the top-10 of PFF's top 101 players from the 2023....

10. OT Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions

"Sewell’s 93.1 PFF run-blocking grade is one of the best single-season marks over the past 15 years at any position. He was a dominant force in the run game for the Lions and allowed just one sack over 17 starts."

Sewell was PFF's top-graded offensive lineman from the 2023 season. Not just offensive tackle, offensive lineman.

Eight Lions made the top-101 list, with half of them in the top-25. Running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs were both among PFF's top-20 running backs from last season, but they didn't quite make it into the top-100 overall.


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