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Lions glad to have Manny Ramirez's 'tremendous' leadership

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Not only did the Detroit Lions add extra depth to their offensive line by acquiring Manny Ramirez, but they also got a "tremendous" leader, according to Jim Caldwell.

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With the Detroit Lions continuing their offensive line makeover this offseason, they now have the second-youngest group of projected starters in the entire NFL. Gone are veterans Rob Sims and Dominic Raiola, and just generally speaking, there is a lot of youth on the offensive line throughout the depth chart.

Actually, the Lions now only have one offensive lineman who is older than 28. That's 32-year-old Manny Ramirez, who was acquired earlier this offseason by the Lions in a draft-day trade with the Denver Broncos. He's got four years on the next-oldest offensive lineman on the team, Taylor Boggs, and after those two, everybody else is 26 or younger.

With so much youth on the offensive line, Ramirez is in a position where he will be counted on to be a leader despite just recently joining the Lions for his second stint with the team. Luckily, that's one of Ramirez's strengths, according to head coach Jim Caldwell:

"You know, what I've seen from him, obviously we kind of know his body of work because we had an opportunity to watch him on film. You can see the things that he's done previously, so you know he's a guy that's certainly going to add some girth and power and experience in the center. But also, you can just tell from a leadership standpoint, I mean, he's tremendous. Real solid guy, just a person that's well-rounded, has a good sense of what being a real pro is and I think you'll see some of that wear off on some of our younger guys."

On the field, it remains to be seen what exactly Ramirez's role will be. He's currently the first-team left guard, but first-round pick Laken Tomlinson is expected to take over that starting spot this summer. Ramirez could also potentially compete for the starting spot at center, but it would be a surprise if Travis Swanson isn't at the top of the depth chart there.

In any case, whether he's starting or serving as a backup, the Lions will be counting on Ramirez's leadership with such a young group of offensive linemen.