For a 4-11 team, the Lions fared well in a poll of NFC North personnel executives conducted by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn.
McGinn, as he’s done annually for many years, gets the executives to rate players at each position.
Rob Sims, for the third straight year, was voted the best left guard.
Three of the four starters on the defensive line also won out. Cliff Avril was ranked the best left end, Nick Fairley the best nose tackle and Ndamukong Suh the best three-technique tackle.
Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch wound up tied with Packers’ A.J. Hawk, and despite missing more than half the season with injuries, Louis Delmas was tied with Vikings Harrison Smith at safety.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was ranked third, ahead of only Vikings Christian Ponder. Packers Aaron Rodgers and Bears Jay Cutler were ahead of him.
Cornerback Chris Houston was rated the worst left corner in the division.
Left tackle Jeff Backus, rated the best by this poll the last two seasons, was ranked last.
“He’s clearly on the decline,’ was one of the comments.
Tony Scheffler was rated the best No. 2 tight end and Joique Bell the best No. 2 running back.