As the offseason winds down, we're going to project each position on the Detroit Lions depth chart and also take a look at some training camp battles. Next up are the offensive guard and center positions.
Starters: Laken Tomlinson (LG), Travis Swanson (C), Larry Warford (RG)
Two of the three starters from the interior of last year's Lions offensive line are gone. Rob Sims and Dominic Raiola are out, Laken Tomlinson and Travis Swanson are in. At least that's the projection. Tomlinson will have to beat out Manny Ramirez to start as a rookie, and Swanson will have to do the same to ensure he does in fact become the starting center in his second year in the league. Along with Larry Warford, who is back again at right guard, the Lions are set to have a very young but very promising interior offensive line.
Backups: Manny Ramirez, Torrian Wilson | Other players: Taylor Boggs, Darren Keyton, Braxston Cave, Al Bond
If Ramirez is unable to crack the starting lineup, he will serve as the top backup at both guard and center. He's versatile enough to play any interior spot, and he will be the first player off the bench if any starter goes down.
There's not quite as much certainty when it comes to the other backup spot. Actually, the Lions could opt to not even keep a fifth interior lineman. They only had four going into the regular season last year, although I do believe they will save a spot for an additional backup this season. Ultimately, I expect undrafted rookie Torrian Wilson to secure that spot, but he will face a lot of competition for that role.
Featured camp battles: Laken Tomlinson vs. Manny Ramirez for the starting LG job, Travis Swanson vs. Manny Ramirez for the starting C job
Other camp battles to watch: Torrian Wilson vs. Al Bond vs. Taylor Boggs vs. Darren Keyton vs. Braxston Cave for the final interior spot
The main camp battles at guard and center revolve around Ramirez and his quest to become a starter. It seems highly unlikely that Tomlinson and Swanson won't start for the Lions this year, but I suppose that possibility can't be completely ruled out.
The other main camp battle worth watching is the aforementioned competition for the fifth interior spot. Assuming that spot does indeed exist on the 53-man roster, the Lions will have several different options for that role.
Previously: Quarterback, running back, fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle