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When an NFL team says goodbye to four of its top five wide receivers and also lets a future Hall of Fame running back walk away all in the same offseason, it’s a huge hit to the offensive weapon depth chart. And that massive blow to the Detroit Lions leaves the team ranked at the bottom of the ratings compiled by ESPN.
Only the Houston Texans are below the Lions in ESPN’s latest rankings, this one being on the offensive weaponry on each team. This is a common pairing at the bottom of most of ESPN’s power rankings this offseason. Being 31st is well-earned by the Lions here with the emphasis on the NFL as a passing league.
Interestingly, the commentary tone is fairly optimistic and even bullish on the Lions at tight end and running back. But about those wide receivers…
the Lions have left themselves with the worst wide receivers room in the league. Nominal top options Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams are both best served as the third or fourth member of a passing attack while running 10-15 go routes per game. Fourth-rounder Amon-Ra St. Brown would be depth-chart fodder in some organizations; here, he might have a chance to lead all wideouts in targets.
The rankings here do not directly consider the quarterback position, although in looking at the rankings it’s difficult to not see some bias towards the better QBs too. It’s worth noting the Lions ranked 25th in 2020 and 19th in 2019 in the same ratings with their significantly superior wide receiver rooms.