With their third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and the 76th overall selection, the Detroit Lions have selected Arkansas center Travis Swanson. This means that for the second year in a row, the Lions have taken an offensive lineman from the SEC in the third round. (They selected Larry Warford in the third round last year.)
Swanson started 50 games at Arkansas and has the ability to play both offensive guard and center. For the Lions, the hope would be that he will eventually take over for Dominic Raiola, who will be 36 years old by the end of the year. Raiola is coming off an excellent season and re-signed for at least one more year this offseason, but the Lions clearly want to start grooming his eventual replacement.
For 2014, Swanson will likely be in a backup role. He could see time at both guard and center, and he does fill a short-term need for a backup interior offensive lineman. In 2015, perhaps Swanson will step in for Raiola at center or take over Rob Sims' starting spot at left guard. Sims is entering the final year of his contract, and it's always possible that Raiola could have one more year in him in 2015.
What are your thoughts on this pick?