Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson lands high on another list of his position peers

New Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson has landed on another list of the NFL's best safeties
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions appeared to get a free agent steal in March when they got C.J. Gardner-Johnson one a one-year deal. He appears to be a nice fit thus far, though the best evidence will be what he does on the field during the season. At some point quickly, the notion of keeping him around awhile may land on general manager Brad Holmes' radar.

Gardner-Johnson tied for the league lead with six interceptions last season, despite missing five games for the Philadelphia Eagles and playing more strong safety than the slot corner/free safety role he is expected to with the Lions.

Gardner-Johnson recently landed nicely on a list of the NFL's best safeties from Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire. ESPN recently polled more 75 NFL executives, players and coaches, with positional rankings a result. Wednesday, the top-10 safeties in the league (subscription required) according to the polling were released.

Gardner-Johnson came in at No. 8. An anonymous NFC executive had some interesting, though not far-fetched, thoughts.

"Watch, he'll go to Detroit, make every play and get paid next year," "It was his first year playing safety full-time so teams wanted to see him do it twice. People don't always trust what they see. But don't get it twisted, he's worth his weight in gold. He played at a super high level.""

An NFC executive, via ESPN

C.J. Gardner-Johnson lands as top-10-ranked safety in the NFL again

Here's the last part of what ESPN's Jeremy Fowler wrote to sum up Gardner-Johnson's place in the safety ranking.

"Gardner-Johnson has an aggressive style of play — with his hitting and his talking — that a few voters characterized as an acquired taste. He’s fiery and confident, which might rankle some. But those who have gotten to know him say he loves football and brings a much-needed edge to a locker room"

Gardner-Johnson certainly seems to already be bringing a "much-needed edge" to the Lions' secondary and locker room. Familiarity with Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who was his position coach with the Saints for a couple seasons, will help him play at a high level and in spots that are conducive to him making the biggest impact.

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