CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco recently published a list of the top 100 players in football and three Detroit Lions made the cut. The list, voted on solely by Prisco, was based on “eyes (mine), ears (listening to scouts) and hours of watching tape.”
The Lions finished as follows:
- No. 4 – WR Calvin Johnson
- No. 50 – QB Matthew Stafford
- No. 74 – DT Ndamukong Suh
Not bad, eh? I didn’t take too much time to evaluate the entire list, but what I can tell you is that he’s dead on when it comes to two of the three Detroit Lions. Johnson is probably right where he belongs. There could be an argument that he be third, but really, I don’t think that needs to be done. Likewise, Suh is probably in a good spot, too. His decline last year, dropped him on the list (last year he was 12th), but he’s very clearly still an elite football player.
I don’t hate where Stafford is, but I think there could be a strong argument for him to higher — much higher — on the list. I think Prisco’s reservations in doing so stem from the little we’ve actually seen of Stafford in his short career. Sure he’s heading into his fourth season in the NFL, but he’s got just one complete year (albeit an awesome one) under his belt and there’s certainly the idea that he needs to prove he can stay healthy and continue to perform before he gets the credit he deserves.
However right or wrong that is, I think it’s the case.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to see the Lions being recognize for the obvious talent they have and it’s even nicer to see Johnson being recognized as not just a tremendous player but the best wide receiver in the game.