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 guard position. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
Back from last season: Larry Warford (2016)
New to the team: Laken Tomlinson (2018+TO), Manny Ramirez (2015), Torrian Wilson (2017), Al Bond (2017)
The Lions have overhauled the offensive guard position this offseason. In fact, Larry Warford is the only returning player from last season at this position. He will be back as the starting right guard, but the starting spot at left guard and the backup spots will be filled by players who are new to the team (or in their second stint with the team, in Manny Ramirez's case).
At left guard, first-round pick Laken Tomlinson should emerge as the starter over the course of training camp. Most of the first-team reps so far have gone to Ramirez, who was acquired from the Denver Broncos in a draft-day trade, but the Lions didn't spend a first-round pick on Tomlinson for him to be a backup.
With Ramirez likely to be the main backup at both guard spots and at center, the Lions could theoretically go into the season with only four interior linemen on their roster. That's what they did at the beginning of 2014, but I'm expecting there to be one other backup spot up for grabs on the 53-man roster. As of right now, undrafted free agents Torrian Wilson and Al Bond look like the main competition for that role.
Need going forward?
Before the draft, this was one of the Lions' top needs considering they only had Warford under contract. Now, though, there's a pretty good amount of depth at guard following the additions of Tomlinson, Ramirez, Wilson and Bond. Perhaps the Lions could bring in a veteran to compete with the two undrafted free agents, but this position appears to be in pretty good shape as things currently stand.
Previously: Quarterback, running back, fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle