As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up is the offensive tackle position. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
Back from last season: Riley Reiff (2016), LaAdrian Waddle (2015), Cornelius Lucas (2016), Michael Williams (2016), Xavier Proctor (2016)
New to the team: Corey Robinson (2018)
There was a lot of talk in the early stages of the offseason about Riley Reiff potentially changing positions, but nothing ever came of that. With the Lions drafting an offensive guard in the first round instead of a tackle, there's nobody threatening to start in Reiff's place at left tackle, so he should remain in that role going forward.
On the other side of the line, there's a whole lot of uncertainty at right tackle thanks to LaAdrian Waddle's health. He missed the offseason training program while recovering from a partially torn ACL, and it's likely that he will open training camp on the PUP list. Whether he will remain on the PUP list beyond training camp remains to be seen, but it's certainly possible that the Lions will have to open the regular season without him.
If Waddle isn't ready to go, Cornelius Lucas will be called upon to start in his place at right tackle. Lucas got some starting experience as a rookie last season, so he should be ready to step in as a spot starter this year if necessary.
The other main source of uncertainty at offensive tackle revolves around who else will make the team. If Waddle doesn't open the season on the PUP list, three spots will be accounted for at tackle. That would mean that former tight end Michael Williams, seventh-round pick Corey Robinson and former defensive tackle Xavier Proctor would likely be battling for one spot. Proctor is a long shot considering he just recently changed positions, but Williams vs. Robinson could be a very intriguing battle during training camp.
Need going forward?
The Lions could really use a veteran at tackle. All of their tackles are on the younger side, and with Waddle's status up in the air, it'd be nice to add someone with extensive starting experience. That's not to say that a veteran free agent would come in and be a lock to make the team or anything, but having someone like that as a fallback option would be nice going into training camp.