Ranking all 32 NFL teams by their 2017 Rookie of the Year candidates

This year’s draft dropped a banner class of running backs, receivers, and defensive backs into the NFL. Headliners like Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, and Deshaun Watson will all make their pro debuts this fall, carrying massive expectations with them. The result could be the tightest Rookie of the Year race in league history.

Two running backs jumped into this year’s top 10 picks. They were flanked by a trio of top 10 wideouts. The pool of cornerback and safety help was so deep that first-round talents languished long into Day 2 of the draft.

The question now is whether the veteran quarterback can push his team past the border of greatness in 2017 and earn the franchise’s first postseason victory since 1992.

Stafford’s injury didn’t take him off the field, but still sent the Lions’ promising season into a tailspin. He managed to play out a narrow win over the hapless Bears to push his team to 9-4, two games ahead of arch rival Green Bay. Then, the wheels came off. Detroit finished its season with four straight defeats, losing each game by an average of nearly 15 points.

A defense that had been puffed up by a string of games against low-firepower offenses was beaten up in the process. The Cowboys rolled up 42 points in Week 16. Seven days later, the Packers sprung for 35, along with 448 total yards, to clinch the division title.

Whatever the exact details were, it seems pretty obvious that McCloughan was locked in a power struggle with Allen, a battle he ultimately lost. Allen served as the GM from 2010-14 before being given the title of team president. He reportedly clashed with McCloughan multiple times, and things came to a head this offseason. Now McCloughan is gone and it appears that Allen is calling the shots again, presumably getting what he wanted all along.

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