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Friday open thread: Do the Lions need to draft a starting interior offensive linemen?

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The Lions added two linemen with starting experience. Do they still HAVE to add a starting lineman in the draft?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Detroit Lions’ bigger needs going into free agency was an interior offensive linemen. It was abundantly clear the Lions would not be bringing back Travis Swanson in 2018, leaving a starting position open either at guard or center. Graham Glasgow is the odds on favorite to slide over to center to fill Swanson’s spot, but that still leaves a vacancy at left guard.

This offseason, the Lions have made two minor moves to remedy that situation. They have signed both Kenny Wiggins and Wesley Johnson—two players who have both versatility and experience, yet have underperformed when given full-time duties. Detroit also has youngster Joe Dahl waiting in the wings for a chance to play.

With a new offensive line coach and a couple of new players, today’s Question of the Day is:

Do the Lions HAVE to get a starting interior offensive linemen in the draft this year?

My answer: You never want to put yourself in a spot where you absolutely have to draft a specific position on draft day, and I’m sure that’s what went into Bob Quinn’s decision to add both Wiggins and Johnson. Surely one of them could realistically compete for a starting job in 2018 should it come to that.

However, I still think this is the Lions’ biggest need, as both of those players—and Joe Dahl, too—should only be considered absolute emergency options at guard or center. More than any other position, the Lions need a starting guard or center in this year’s draft.

Even if Wiggins or Johnson were up for the challenge of reclaiming a starting spot on the offensive line, both of them are likely signed to one-year deals. This problem will rear its ugly head again next year if the Lions don’t take care of it in the draft next month.

So, yes, the Lions have to get a starting lineman in this year’s draft. I believe it remains the Lions’ biggest priority, despite their free agency moves.

Your turn.


Do the Lions HAVE to get a starting offensive lineman in the NFL Draft?

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