Offensive Linemen -The 2009 Draft

Many here at POD have wondered why the Lions have not paid more attention to the offensive line since Martin Mayhew began his reign with the Lions. Among the possible reasons for this perceived slight may be that the OL draft candidates simply weren't rated highly enough when it was time for the Lions to make their selection. Let's, with the benefit of hindsight, take a look at the 2009 draft and see if this might be the case. This is the only draft class we can attempt to judge at this point since most would agree that 3 years is the minimum time frame required to begin to rate a draft class. A list including brief commentary of all offensive lineman drafted in 2009 along with who the Lions drafted per round follows.

Looking at Round 1

1 DET Stafford, Matthew, QB, Georgia

2 Rams Jason Smith OT Switched to RT and now is a question mark due to both injury concerns and inconsistent play

6 Bengals Andre Smith OT starting RT has had injury problems but 2011 was a very good year for him.

8 Jaguars Eugene Monroe OT starting LT when healthy

20 DET Pettigrew, Brandon, TE, Oklahoma State

21 Browns Alex Mack C Starter and likely all pro

23 Ravens Michael Oher OT Back to RT the jury is still out

28 Bills Eric Wood C Solid starter possible all pro

2nd Round

1 DET Delmas, Louis, CB, Western Michigan

7 Jaguars Britton, Eben OT Starting RT also when healthy

17 Seahawks (From Bears) Unger, Max OT Has started at C but still listed as an OT

19 Bills (From Cowboys) Levitre, Andy OL Starting LG solid plus player

22 Vikings Loadholt, Phil OL Starting RT often criticized

26 Patriots Vollmer, Sebastian OL 6'7" Has performed well at both R & LT. Solid plus player.

28 Giants Beatty, William OT Starting LT but pass protection has been a problem.

3rd Round

11 Cowboys (From Bills) Brewster, Robert OT Unemployed

12 DET Levy, DeAndre, OLB, Wisconsin

13 Texans Caldwell, Antoine OG Backup guard

14 Chargers Vasquez, Louis OG Starter

15 Steelers (From Broncos) Urbik, Kraig OT Now a starting G with Buffalo

18 DET Williams, Derrick, WR, Penn State

4th Round

6 CIN Luigs, Jonathan C unemployed

9 Packers Lang, T.J. OT 6'4" Starting G who has also filled in at both Tackle spots, appears solid.

15 DET Hill, Sammie Lee, DT, Stillman

23 Patriots (From Ravens) Ohrnberger, Rich OG 6'2" Unemployed

32) Broncos (From Steelers) Olsen, Seth OG 6'5" Reserve guard seldom plays

33) Chargers (Compensatory selection) Green, Tyronne OG 6'2" 309 Reserve guard seldom plays

35) Titans (Compensatory selection) Kropog, Troy OT 6'6" 309 Practice Squad

5th Round

3 Chiefs Brown, Colin OL Reserve guard seldom plays

19 Buccaneers Fulton, Xavier OT 6'4" 302 Unemployed

20 Falcons (From Cowboys) Reynolds, Garrett OT Starting guard

23 Eagles (From Patriots) Tupou, Fenuki OT Last with NO, practice squad maybe

26 Packers (From Ravens through Patriots) Meredith, Jamon OT Now with the steelers after bouncing thru rosters/ Seldom plays

27 Panthers Robinson, Duke OT Unemployed

31 Cardinals Johnson, Herman OT unemployed

34 Patriots (Compensatory selection) Bussey, George OT Unemployed

6th Round

8 Dolphins (From Raiders) Gardner, Andrew OT Now with Houston. Seldom plays

19 DET Brown, Aaron, RB, TCU

20 Jets Slauson, Matt OG Starting G

7th Round

4 Eagles (From Seahawks) Fanaika, Paul OG Now with Seattle maybe PS

16 Broncos Schlueter, Blake C Unemployed

17 Steelers (From Buccaneers) Shipley, A.Q. C Unemployed

19 DET Murtha, Lydon, OT, Nebraska Plucked by Miami off our PS. Often Injured

26 DET Follett, Zack, OLB, California Career derailed by neck injury

27 Colts Thomas, Jaimie OT Unemployed

30 Titans Durand, Ryan OG Practice Squad?

37 Bears (Compensatory selection) Louis, Lance OG Started frequently in 2011 but probable stopgap on a weak line

45 Cardinals (Compensatory selection) Canfield, Trevor OG Bounced around Practice squads

46 Lions Gronkowski, Dan TE Despite showing early promise Dan has bounced around and is currently with the Browns.

I was going to post this toward the end of the 2012 season but decided it wasn't really relevant despite some conversations regarding the Lions lack of attention to the Oline at the time. Not because those harboring the view that the Lions were neglecting the Oline didn't have some valid points but because when the 2009 draft began there wasn't a single strength in the Lions position groups. In fact, with the exception of the Oline, all position groups could accurately be described as frighteningly weak. I decided to publish this post now because well hell I'm sick of reading bout pot smoking, dui's, sucker punching etc.

Looking at the 1st round Matt was easily a better choice than any of the Olineman drafted in the top 10. I doubt there'll be an argument on this statement. I can see some still thinking that the Lions would have been better off drafting an Olineman rather than Pet but imo not Oher who was the consensus alternative at the time around here. Alex Mack would have given us an all pro Center though so I can see an argument there. Of course who would we now have at TE if we had done this?...

2nd Round Delmas with the benefit of hindsight is the obvious choice over any Olineman likely to have been on the radar at this point.

3rd round It would have been nice to have avoided DWill but the next worthwhile Olineman drafted was TJ Lange 23 picks later so I doubt eliminating this mistake would have netted another Oline candidate. I'm not going to discuss the additional rounds. This post is long enough and I'll let you guys do that if you want. In this draft at any rate it looks like the Oline candidates just weren''t there when the Lions selected. Tell me what you think.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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