49ers should beware these 5 threatening NFC teams

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs past San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs past San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Jared Goff
Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

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NFC Team No. 2: Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions at No. 2? This will surprise some and it is a big call for the 2023 season, but the Lions are a team that look like they could progress to the next level in a NFC North that's ripe for the taking.

The NFL media and social media blindly hated the selections of running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Jack Campbell, but both are excellent prospects who fill needs. Gibbs could be the next Alvin Kamara of the NFL as a strong runner who's also an elite receiver, while Campbell has a lot of Fred Warner vibes as the best off-ball linebacker in the draft.

The second day of Detroit's draft was just as good. Tight end Sam LaPorta was a prospect I desperately hoped to no avail would slide to the 49ers while trading up for the top safety prospect in the draft in Brian Branch represented ridiculous value. To get four prospects who were either in the first round or could have been selected in the first round with no complaints was amazing value and added even more young talent to a young, talented squad.

The defensive line is well led by EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, so the Lions went all out in upgrading the secondary in free agency by signing Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton and former 49er Emmanuel Moseley. While it isn't truly elite as of yet, the team went all out in making the defense a much better outfit than 2022.

Not everyone will be convinced on a perennial struggler like the Lions making a big jump in 2023, but it shouldn't shock if they become one of the surprise teams of the NFL and make a deep playoff push.