As we continue to get ready for Detroit Lions training camp, we're going to examine some of the position battles that will be worth keeping an eye on over the course of the next month and a half or so. Next up is the battle for the starting right guard job.
The Lions will have three new starters on their offensive line this year. It's the first time in a while that any changes have been made to the starting group, and the overhaul began earlier this year when the Lions decided to release starting right guard Stephen Peterman. He was identified as the weak spot in the starting O-line, and he became a cap casualty back in February.
Now, as the Lions gear up for training camp, they have several candidates who will be in the mix to take over for Peterman in the starting lineup. Certain players seem to have better odds of starting than others, but there will be a real competition at this position.
Larry Warford, who was selected in the third round out of Kentucky back in April, is the most noteworthy candidate for the starting right guard job. He already got some first-team reps during the Lions' OTAs and minicamp, as did Rodney Austin and Dylan Gandy. Those three are the main players in the mix to start at right guard right now based on how the reps were divided up during the offseason program.
We can't forget about Bill Nagy and Leroy Harris, who, last we heard, were both recovering from injuries. Nagy was expected to eventually become a starter for the Lions when he was claimed off waivers last summer, but his health could throw a wrench in that plan. As for Harris, who is also recovering from an injury, he just recently signed, so it remains to be seen where he will fit into the picture at right guard. (The same goes for Jake Scott, who also recently signed but is actually healthy.)
Who has the edge right now?
This job is pretty clearly Warford's to lose. The Lions didn't make him a third-round pick with the intention of him being a backup. The expectation is for him to emerge over the other candidates during training camp and the preseason and really solidify his spot in the Lions' starting lineup.