As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up are the offensive guard and center positions.
The interior of the Lions' offensive line didn't undergo as many changes as offensive tackle, but there will be at least one new starter this year. That's because the Lions decided to release Stephen Peterman, who had been the starting right guard, earlier in the offseason.
The Lions are likely going to fill Peterman's old spot in the starting lineup with rookie Larry Warford, who was a third-round pick in this year's draft. Warford is viewed as being ready to start from the very beginning of his rookie season, and the hope is that he will be a starter for years to come.
On the left side of the line at guard, Rob Sims is back again to start for the Lions. He was actually voted the Lions' most outstanding lineman last season, and he is one of only two returning starters on the O-line for Detroit. The other, of course, is Dominic Raiola, who took a pay cut to remain on the team. He is expected to once again be the Lions' starting center.
Among the backups at offensive guard and center are Bill Nagy, Rodney Austin, Dylan Gandy, Leroy Harris and Jake Scott. These players will try to make the 53-man roster by using their versatility to impress coaches at both offensive guard and center. The same goes for Derek Hardman and Darren Keyton, although they're probably long shots at best at this point.
Need going forward?
The Lions addressed their need for veteran depth at offensive guard and center by signing Harris and Scott earlier this month. Given that the Lions have several guys battling for only a couple roster spots, there shouldn't be a need to sign anybody else of note unless an injury happens.