Lions to start Riley Reiff off at left tackle this year


Based on what happened in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions' Riley Reiff is going to get to stay at offensive tackle.

Throughout this offseason, there has been speculation over where Riley Reiff will start on the offensive line in 2013. With Jeff Backus retiring, Stephen Peterman being released and Gosder Cherilus departing in free agency, three starting spots are open on the offensive line. Reiff's versatility means that he has the potential to start at left tackle, right guard or right tackle, and before the 2013 NFL Draft, it wasn't clear where he would land.

With the Lions not having a shot at drafting one of the top three offensive tackles last Thursday, they decided to pass on adding a tackle at all in this year's draft. They did address the O-line by drafting offensive guard Larry Warford, and this in turn has helped clear up where Reiff will play in 2013. According to Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, Reiff will start things off at left tackle. From the Free Press:

"We drafted him as a left tackle," Schwartz said. "Probably with the way things ended up here, we’ll probably start him off there. We have a lot of confidence in him. I mean, that’s why we drafted him last year."

Warford is expected to be the starting right guard, leaving the two tackle spots open for some combination of Reiff, Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox. With the Lions planning to go with Reiff at left tackle -- at least initially -- Hilliard and Fox will compete for the starting job at right tackle.

I'm sure the Lions will move the tackles around to find the best fit at each position, but for now, the starting offensive line looks like this: LT Riley Reiff, LG Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola, RG Larry Warford, RT Corey Hilliard or Jason Fox. We shouldn't forget about Bill Nagy and Rodney Austin at center and right guard, but Raiola and Warford are in position to be the starters at those two positions.

More from POD:

Track the Lions' picks in our draft StoryStream

Grade the Lions' 2013 draft class

Lions' 2013 draft class by the numbers

2013 Lions undrafted free agent tracker

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