Detroit Lions left tackle Jeff Backus has played at a much higher level in recent years than he had in the first part of his career, allowing the team to wait another year or two before absolutely having to search for his future replacement at the position. Backus isn't getting any younger, so the search will have to take place at some point.
Many believed the Lions were going to draft an offensive tackle in the first round of this year's draft. The mindset that Backus absolutely had to be replaced was obviously incorrect, but perhaps the idea of someday moving Backus to offensive guard isn't. Had the Lions drafted a left tackle, some "experts" said that Backus could be moved inside to open up a starting spot at left tackle. I personally didn't see the point of doing anything like that this year, but perhaps in a few years that will be something to consider to extend Backus' career as a starter.
Former Lions offensive lineman Lomas Brown is certainly on board with the idea of moving Backus inside in the future, and he thinks Backus would play quite well as a guard.
"I've always said that I thought if Jeff played the inside position, played the guard position, I feel that the guy's an All-Pro guy," former Lion Lomas Brown said recently at the Derrick Williams-Charlie Villanueva celebrity softball game. "I really do. I think he's a very good tackle, but I think he could be an All-Pro interior lineman."
Brown went on to explain that Backus is built more like a guard than a tackle. Brown also said that Backus deserves credit for "what he's been able to do throughout the years playing with a disadvantage like that at that position." Backus has been getting better and better in Brown's mind, but once Backus starts slowing down, Brown thinks a move to guard "could extend his career a lot longer for him."