ESPN names 3 Detroit Lions to their Top-50 free agents list for 2021

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Erik Schlitt
·2 min read
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ESPN’s Kevin Seifert named three Detroit Lions to their Top-50 potential free agents list for 2021 ($), including wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, along with EDGE Romeo Okwara.

In the introduction, Seifert explained how they set up their list, giving an edge to younger players and favoring certain positions over another. He also made an interesting point regarding injuries and team’s perceptions of them.

“Players coming off serious injuries aren’t necessarily fated to one-year ‘prove it’ deals,” Seifert said. “There is enough recent history to suggest that teams are better at anticipating full recoveries and will sometimes offer competitive deals. ”

Thie above statement wasn’t specifically about Golladay, but it applies to him this year, yet doesn’t appear to have impacted his ranking as he checks in at the number eight spot.

“Golladay’s contract year was a bust, as injuries forced him to miss 11 games,” Seifert said. “When healthy, however, Golladay showed that he can be a big-time downfield No. 1 receiver. He combined for 17 touchdown receptions in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, tied for the NFL’s seventh most over that span.”

Okwara was next on the list, landing at 38 on the list. “A waiver claim in 2018, Okwara produced an eye-opening season in 2020 for a team that fell totally from the national radar. He recorded 10 sacks as a part-time starter. Generally speaking, 26-year-old players with a 10-sack season tend to elicit significant interest. It wasn’t a statistical fluke, either. He recorded 7.5 sacks in 2018.”

Jones wrapped up the Lions on the list, ranked 41st. “Jones had his most reliable and productive season in four years, catching 76 passes for 978 yards and nine touchdowns while starting all 16 games for the Lions. It seems inevitable that he’ll move on. Not every team is in the market for an over-30 receiver, but Jones still has playmaking ability.”

No real surprises, as Seifert’s list reflects a similar ranking to our Lions potential unrestricted free agents rankings that we put out at the beginning of the month.