Thursday's game against the Buffalo Bills pretty much confirmed all of our suspicions on the offensive line. The Detroit Lions have pretty much settled on their front five: Riley Reiff, Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Larry Warford and Jason Fox. However, looking at how they used the offensive line for the rest of the game gave us a look into who may make the final cuts come Saturday.
|Drive||QB||C||RG||RT||Drive summary||Rushing game||Sacks|
|1||Stafford||Raiola||Warford||Fox||3 plays, 4 yards, INT||1 rush, 4 yards||0|
|2||Stafford||Raiola||Warford||Fox||7 plays, 32 yards, punt||3 rushes, 10 yards||0|
|3||Hill||Gandy||Scott||Fox||1 play, 8 yards, TD||0 rushes||0|
|4||Hill||Gandy||Scott||Fox||9 plays, 68 yards, TD||4 rushes, 10 yards||1|
|5||Moore||Gandy||Warford||Waddle||3 plays, 8 yards, punt||1 rush, 1 yard||0|
|6||Moore||Gandy||Warford||Waddle||1 play, 23 yards, TD||1 rush, 23 yards, TD||0|
|7||Moore||Gandy||Warford||Waddle||1 play, 4 yards, FUMBLE||1 rush, 4 yards, FUMBLE||0|
|8||Moore||Gandy||Warford||Waddle||7 plays, 81 yards, TD||2 rushes, 18 yards||0|
|9||Moore||Gandy||Scott||Waddle||8 plays, 83 yards, TD||2 rushes, 6 yards||0|
|10||Moore||Keyton||Scott||Waddle||5 plays, 41 yards, punt||4 rushes, 41 yards||0|
|11||Moore||Keyton||Scott||Waddle||2 plays, 1 yard, INT||1 rush, 6 yards||0|
|12||Moore||Keyton||Warford||Waddle||3 plays, 3 yards, punt||2 rushes, 3 yards||0|
|13||Moore||Keyton||Warford||Waddle||3 plays, -2 yards, punt||2 rushes, -2 yards||0|
|14||Moore||Keyton||Warford||Waddle||9 plays, 40 yards, punt||8 rushes, 34 yards||0|
To begin with, the Lions got an extensive look at LaAdrian Waddle at right tackle. Waddle held his own during the entire game and wasn't responsible for the only sack. He wasn't dominant, but he was definitely serviceable. Corey Hilliard doesn't appear to even be in the discussion at right tackle, as this was his second straight game getting no snaps at the position. However, Hilliard did play nearly half the game at left tackle. Both Waddle and Hilliard are likely to make the final roster, but it appears Hilliard is now the left tackle backup.
The guard position is a little less clear. Warford looks to have the starting job locked down, but the Lions clearly think he needs as much playing time as possible. I understand he's still a rookie, but it's not a good sign when your projected starting right guard is still playing in the fourth quarter of the last preseason game.
Jake Scott is still getting a lot of snaps at right guard, but isn't expected to win the starting job. Dylan Gandy is no longer a candidate for the starting right guard job, but he has shown his value as a backup center. On the left side, Rodney Austin and Leroy Harris have been battling for the backup spot. In this game, Harris got in the game first and got nearly half of the offensive snaps. While Austin still had over a third of the snaps at left guard, it appears he may have lost his grip on the backup role at left guard.
The Lions will likely only keep four guards. I think Scott is probably safe, due to his experience. But beyond that, the Lions will have to choose between Gandy, who provides additional value as a backup center, Austin, who has the most experience on the left side of the line, and Harris, who appears to be gaining ground on Austin and also has experience at center. I think Austin is the biggest longshot at this point, with no clear leader between Harris and Gandy.