clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did the Detroit Lions improve at offensive tackle in 2016?

One of the most addressed positions in the offseason was offensive line, but does that mean the Detroit Lions are much improved yet?

Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

"Did the Lions improve?" is our latest series analyzing the Detroit Lions' roster in comparison to their 7-9 2015 season. Next up, we look at the offensive tackle position.

2015 OTs: Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, Michael Ola, Cornelius Lucas, Corey Robinson, Xavier Proctor

2016 OTs: Taylor Decker, Riley Reiff, Michael Ola, Cornelius Lucas, Corey Robinson

Though there is really only one change on the Lions offensive tackle depth chart, Detroit has truly gone through a complete offensive line transformation. After drafting Taylor Decker in the first round, the Lions may have their new starting left tackle. Additionally, the Lions added several players who are considered guards, but have experience playing tackle, including Geoff Schwartz and rookie Joe Dahl.

Did they improve?

It remains to be seen, but one has to believe that the addition of Decker alone will be a huge upgrade to the Lions' weakest position last season. Not only did Riley Reiff occasionally struggle on the left side, but Detroit couldn't find one apt player at right tackle last year, until Michael Ola came in and provided moderate stability from Week 11 and beyond.

If Decker comes in and starts at left tackle, the Lions may upgrade both starting tackle positions after presumably moving Reiff to right tackle. Just as importantly, the Lions improved their depth with the aforementioned versatile additions in Schwartz and Dahl.

While I still have a very hard time agreeing with fans that the Lions improved at wide receiver, there's little doubt in my mind the Lions' offensive tackle position is the most improved unit on the team.

What about compared to 2014?

2014 OTs: Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, Corey Hilliard, Cornelius Lucas

The Lions had just as much trouble at the offensive tackle position back then, they just managed to hide it better. Right tackle has been a huge issue for years, and now that the Lions have Decker, it appears that issue may have finally been addressed.

Previously: Quarterback, running back, fullback, wide receiver, tight end

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.