It appears that it's time for our annual offseason conversation about whether the Detroit Lions could move Riley Reiff from left tackle to another position. In the past, these conversations have mainly focused on the possibility of Reiff moving inside to offensive guard, but given what Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said on Friday, it appears we need to consider the possibility of Reiff moving to right tackle. From The Detroit News:
"We’ll see how the offseason goes," Mayhew said. "I wouldn’t say he’s locked in at left, he could probably play right, too. We’ll see how things go."
Considering the Lions could very well draft an offensive tackle with the 23rd overall pick (just like they did when they took Reiff in 2012), I suppose it makes sense for Mayhew to not rule anything out. If they draft a tackle in the first round and he's better suited for the left side of the line, then moving Reiff over to right tackle would be a smart move.
I suppose we also need to consider the possibility of the Lions giving LaAdrian Waddle and/or Cornelius Lucas a look at left tackle. It's entirely possible that those two players might feel more comfortable on the left side, and perhaps one of them could swap spots with Reiff if he heads over to the right side.
Of course, we also probably shouldn't rule out the idea that has been talked about in the past about Reiff moving to offensive guard. The left guard job is currently up for grabs, and perhaps the Lions' best starting five could involve Reiff at left guard, Lucas at left tackle and Waddle sticking around on the right side.
Then again, let's not forget that Riley Reiff had the Lions' second-best offensive grade on Pro Football Focus last season. Actually, he tied with Larry Warford, but only Calvin Johnson graded out better than Reiff during the 2014 regular season. It's not as if Reiff isn't getting the job done at left tackle, although I suppose the fact that the Lions haven't yet decided on his fifth-year option might suggest that there is some uneasiness with him.
In any case, I think more than anything this goes along with Mayhew's view that his offensive linemen need to be versatile.
Mayhew on drafting o-line: "We’ll be looking to acquire some guys with some versatility. That’s going to be an important issue for us."— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 18, 2015
Last season, the Lions had so many injuries that guys were constantly moving around to different positions. That contributed greatly to the Lions' issues on the offensive line, and having guys ready to fill in at multiple positions or switch starting spots could be extremely helpful if injuries become an issue again in 2015.