Jimmy over at Blogging the Beast compiled the ages of the projected starting offensive line for all 32 NFL teams (ages are as of the start of the 2011 season). He then averaged them and ranked the offensive lines in order from oldest to youngest. Here is a look at the top five oldest O-lines (average age is in parentheses):
1. Giants (31 years, 11 months, 1 day)
2. Lions (30 years, 3 months, 4 days)
3. Patriots (30 years, 2 months, 5 days)
4. Falcons (29 years, 8 months, 27 days)
5. Bengals (29 years, 4 months, 21 days)
It's not too surprising the Lions are near the top of the list considering they have two projected starters that have been in the league since 2001 (Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola) and another that has been playing since 2004. Rob Sims has been in the NFL since 2006 and Gosder Cherilus has the least amount of experience, as he entered the league in 2008.
On the one hand, the fact that the average age of the Lions' starting offensive line is 30 years old indicates that some guys won't be around more than a few more years. Guys like Backus and Raiola only have so much time as a starter left, so building for the future will be important in the next few offseasons. At the same time, though, the good news is the Lions' O-line has quite a bit of experience. The starters haven't been the most consistent players during their careers, but there's no doubt they are experienced.