After a mostly dismal first season as a Detroit Lion in 2021, Jared Goff revived his career last season as he finished top-10 in the league in passing yards, touchdowns, passer rating, QBR and yards per attempt. But his place among his peers in the league is a somewhat divisive topic among some Lions fans, with most any objective view of him dismissed by that group as someone being a "Goff hater."
On Monday, ESPN continue their rollout of position rankings based on their polling of NFL players, coaches and executives with the top-10 quarterbacks (subscription required). Three Lions (C.J Gardner-Johnson, Penei Sewell and Frank Ragnow) landed in the top-10 among their positional peers.
Goff didn't crack the top-10 quarterbacks, but he was among five honorable mentions as ESPN's Jeremy Fowler revealed the Lions' signal caller showed up on "nearly 25 percent" of ballots received.
"Goff rarely got a single vote over the past three seasons, but this year he appeared on nearly 25% of the ballots after leading Detroit to nine wins, thanks in part to a 29-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio," "- ESPN's Jeremy Fowler
Jared Goff gets praise in ESPN quarterback ranking
Polling like this can be easy to critique, and 1-10 on this ESPN quarterback ranking goes Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford. A case could be made for Goff to occupy one of the last three spots, but there's certainly some inherent "let's see you do it again this year" in Goff not quite getting there
That said, Goff was given some praise an anonymous scout, reflected by having the third-best QBR against the blitz last year (81.6). Of course, being blitzed and actually being pressured are two separate things, and Goff was still not good when pressured last year.
"He’s always been a good thrower of the football. His issue, to me, was toughness, particularly in the pocket,” “I thought he addressed a lot of that this year and stood tall.”"- Anonymous AFC scout
It's not a revelation to say Goff is a critical player to the Lions' success this season, perhaps the most critical if we're being honest. But he's not a top-10 quarterback in the league by anyone's realistic account, even if Lions' fans would rather not hear it.