Our latest series on the Detroit Lions roster continues with a comparison of the offensive guard and center positions from 2014 to 2015. Did the Lions improve at offensive guard and center? Let's take a look.
2014 OGs/Cs: Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Larry Warford, Travis Swanson, Garrett Reynolds, Rodney Austin
2015 OGs/Cs: Laken Tomlinson, Travis Swanson, Larry Warford, Manny Ramirez, Taylor Boggs, Darren Keyton, Braxston Cave, Torrian Wilson, Al Bond
The Lions have really overhauled the interior of their offensive line this offseason. First, they decided to move on from Dominic Raiola, making Travis Swanson the new starting center. Then, after not re-signing Rob Sims, they drafted Laken Tomlinson in the first round, making him the likely new starting left guard. They also acquired Manny Ramirez in a trade, giving them a veteran backup who can play both guard and center.
Did they improve?
There may be some growing pains as Tomlinson transitions to the NFL and Swanson transitions to a full-time starting role, but it'd be tough to perform worse than Sims and Raiola did last season. What's more, considering Larry Warford struggled with injuries last season, it's tough to imagine him not being better this year. Add in a backup like Ramirez, who has starting experience, and the guard and center positions are in much better shape this year.
What about compared to 2013?
2013 OGs/Cs: Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Larry Warford, Dylan Gandy, Leroy Harris, Rodney Austin
The Lions' offensive line did quite well in 2013, and that was thanks in part to a surprisingly awesome season from Raiola and a stellar rookie year by Warford. It will be tough to match what that group did in 2013, but on paper, I suppose the upside is higher for the Lions' current interior linemen.