"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 guard and center positions.
2015 OGs/Cs: Laken Tomlinson, Larry Warford, Travis Swanson, Manny Ramirez, Taylor Boggs
2016 OGs/Cs: Laken Tomlinson, Larry Warford, Travis Swanson, Graham Glasgow, Geoff Schwartz, Gabe Ikard, Andrew Zeller, Joe Dahl, Chase Farris
After parting ways with Manny Ramirez and Taylor Boggs this offseason, the Lions went to work on retooling the offensive line depth. First, they grabbed veteran Geoff Schwartz during free agency. Then the set their sights on the draft, where they added several interior linemen, including third-round pick Graham Glasgow and fifth-round pick Joe Dahl.
Did they improve?
The Lions enter the 2016 season with their three interior starters still on the roster. Laken Tomlinson and Larry Warford's jobs are likely safe, but Travis Swanson could potentially be unseated by Glasgow. Last year, the team didn't struggle with depth much, as the starting lineup stayed healthy for the majority of the year. That being said, Manny Ramirez, who began the season in the starting lineup, was efficient when he had to come in for relief.
This season, the Lions will have similar depth. Geoff Schwartz enters Detroit with eight seasons under his belt, while also bringing the versatility of being to play on the outside, as well.
But the biggest addition this offseason was Glasgow. While Swanson has a mere 19 starts to his young career, the Lions have not been pleased with his development. Glasgow brings competition to the center position that has struggled to find consistent play since Detroit moved on from Dominic Raiola after the 2014 season.
At the moment, it appears the Lions have added competition at nearly every position on the offensive line, and while that may not exactly mean more talented starters, it does push current starters to be at their best at all times.
What about compared to 2014?
2014 OGs/Cs: Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Larry Warford, Travis Swanson, Garrett Reynolds, Rodney Austin
The Lions offensive line played okay in 2014, but their depth was awful and Detroit had trouble at the left guard position. While I think the starting lineup is about on par with the 2016 club, the Lions' depth looks much better right now.