Counting down the top athletes playing on Detroit’s four major professional sports teams right now! Here are Nos. 20-11. Video by Marlowe Alter/DFP
For the second straight year, we’ll spend the summer counting down the top-20 players on the Detroit Lions’ roster in anticipation of training camp.
This isn’t meant to be a gauge of how players have performed in the past or what they did last year. This is more a prediction of how valuable each player will be to the Lions this fall, accounting for the role they’ll play on the team. Left tackle Taylor Decker would have been a top five selection had he not torn the labrum in his right shoulder in early June. With Decker potentially out for half the season or more, his role has diminished to the point he does not appear on this list.
Here, in reverse order, are your top-20 Lions for 2017.
No. 5: Golden Tate
Age: 29 (in August).
2016 stats: 16 GP: 91 catches, 1,077 yards, 4 TDs.
Contract status: Has 2 years left on the 5-year free-agent deal he signed in 2014.
Why he’s No. 5: Five receivers have caught more passes than Tate in the past three seasons: Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Tate isn’t often considered in that class of receiver, but he has been a very good player. He’s sure-handed, he’s a menace when he gets the ball in space and last year he became Matthew Stafford’s go-to receiver. Tate doesn’t have…
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