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2015 Detroit Lions roster review: Centers

A look back at how the Lions' centers performed in 2015 and a look ahead to 2016.

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As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2015. Next, let's take a look at the Detroit Lions' centers. (Note: Numbers for sacks, QB hits and QB hurries allowed are from Pro Football Focus.)

Travis Swanson

2015 stats: 14 games (14 starts) | Allowed 2 sacks, 3 QB hits, 24 QB hurries
2016 status: Signed through 2017

Swanson was the Lions' starting center in 2015 and will be the starter in 2016, barring a shocking move from new general manager Bob Quinn. That being said, Swanson does need to feel challenged, because 2015 was not a good year for him. Swanson graded out as the Lions' worst offensive lineman not named LaAdrian Waddle. He struggled equally in pass and run blocking.

Swanson's poor year was hugely disappointing, but it is important to remember, that was essentially Swanson's rookie year. He came into the season with just five starts under his belt. He still has plenty of time to improve.

Braxston Cave

2015 stats: 0 games (0 starts)
2016 status: Exclusive rights free agent

Cave was signed to a futures deal back in January 2015 and spent most of the season on the Lions' practice squad. He was promoted to the 53-man roster for the final week of the season, but was never active on gameday.

Gabe Ikard

2015 stats: 1 games (0 starts)
2016 status: Signed through 2016

Ikard spent 2015 on the Titans, Bills and Browns roster before being claimed by the Lions half way into December. Ikard played in three games for the Bills and was active for the season finale on the Lions roster, but only saw a limited amount of special teams snaps.

Outlook for 2016

2016 will be a make-or-break year for Swanson. If there isn't a huge improvement in his game, the Lions may be looking to cut ties with him going forward. Detroit battled through mediocrity with Dominic Raiola at center for over a decade, but Swanson's play hasn't even been that good thus far.

Previously: Quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive tackles, offensive guards

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