Pro Football Focus rankings continue to disrespect the Detroit Lions

Doing it to Jared Goff is one thing, but Pro Football Focus' position rankings continue to disrespect the Lions.
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It's late-May, and from here through June those who cover the NFL may have to dive deeper than usual for suitable topics. Pro Football Focus is coming out with their positional rankings, and Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff landed further down then he probably should have even if the core reason was generally sound.

PFF's running back rankings heading into the 2024 season came out earlier this week. The Lions backfield duo came in ninth (Jahmyr Gibbs) and 23rd (David Montgomery) respectively. Somehow, among NFC North running backs, Aaron Jones (now with the Vikings, previously with the Packers) is one spot above Gibbs. Former Lion D'Andre Swift, who came back to the division with the Bears this offseason, is three spots above Montgomery.

Here's what PFF's Thomas Valentine wrote about Gibbs and Montgomery.

On Gibbs:

"His (Gibbs') 74.5 grade ranked 25th among running backs, as he rushed for 945 yards and 10 touchdowns at an excellent 5.2 yards-per-carry clip.
"Only (Derrick) Henry and (Chiristian) McCaffrey totaled more rushes of 15-plus yards than Gibbs in 2023, and his 3.12 yards after contact per attempt tied for 16th among running backs. With 52 catches under his belt in his first year, too, Gibbs will remain a focal point of the Lions' offense."

A portion of the Montgomery blurb:

"The former Bear forged an excellent one-two punch with Jahmyr Gibbs and provided real relief between the tackles and as a goal-line back. Montgomery is just as shifty, too, averaging 3.05 yards after contact per attempt and forcing 48 missed tackles — the second-highest number of his career."

Woodward Sports took on PFF's pecking order for NFC North running backs (NSFW).

This is not the first time this week the Lions' running back duo has been dissed in a position ranking. But moving on...

Lions get disrespected again in PFF position rankings

PFF published their offensive tackle rankings heading into the 2024 season on Tuesday. Lions' right tackle Penei Sewell had to be No. 1 right? Maybe No. 2 at worst? Nope he's No. 3, behind 49ers left tackle Trent Williams and Buccaneers left tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Sewell got dinged for his pass blocking grade, which ranked 16th among tackles last season (two spots below linemate Taylor Decker).

"Sewell showed significant improvement during the 2023 season, as his 95.1 run-blocking grade and 92.8 overall grade ranked first at the position. However, because his pass-blocking grade ranked outside the top 10, he finishes third in this ranking."

Decker landed at No. 14 in the offensive tackle ranking, on the heels of posting a top-10 overall PFF grade for the first time in his career.

Being skeptical about Goff and not ranking him well due to his limitations is one thing. But we have Gibbs not being ranked above Jones by PFF, and Montgomery fell behind Swift with some data they even noted to show it should be otherwise. Sewell should not be behind anyone but Williams in an offensive tackle ranking, if he's behind anyone if we account for age.

As PFF continues to roll out their position rankings this offseasob, Sam LaPorta, Aidan Hutchinson, Frank Ragnow and Alim McNeill are sure to get lofty spots among their peers.


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