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Saturday open thread: With T.J. Lang gone, what do the Lions do at right guard?

Do they spend another high pick on the OL? Free agency splash? Tyrell Crosby time?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Friday’s decision to release T.J. Lang likely made financial sense for the Detroit Lions, but it leaves the team with a significant hole on their roster. Despite a clear focus on the getting together his offensive line, general manager Bob Quinn finds himself with a pretty significant need at right guard... again.

While Detroit does have Kenny Wiggins, who helped finish out the season after Lang was placed on injured reserve, the team would be best served to keep him as an injury replacement.

So how can the Lions address this glaring need? Or rather, how should the Lions address this need?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Should the Lions get a starting right guard in free agency, the draft, or do they already have one?

My answer: Some believe Tyrell Crosby should get a fair shot at the job, but I just don’t see it. First off, to expect a fifth-round pick like Crosby to just jump in there and start playing at an NFL level at a position he’s never played is just asking for trouble. If this team is seriously committed to becoming a team devoted to the running game, having Crosby start at right guard in 2019 is immediately putting themselves at a disadvantage. Secondly, the team pretty stubbornly kept Crosby as a tackle all of last year. He’s already behind in development if the plan is to move him to guard.

Unfortunately, the free agent market isn’t all that impressive either. A lot of the best players available (Mike Iupati, Andy Levitre) have the exact same concerns as Lang: injuries and age. Could the Lions go all-in on a guy like Rodger Saffold? I suppose so, but it will, once again, cost them some serious free agency investment.

As for the draft, while it’s not a very top-heavy class, there are some potential options on Day 2. Both Wisconsin guards Beau Benzschawel and Michael Deiter would be nice fits in Detroit.

So, ultimately, I think the NFL Draft is likely the best way to go. However, the Lions will need to have a backup plan. Expect them to add competition in free agency, but not with one of the best guards available.

Your turn.


How should the Lions address the starting RG position?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Sign a free agent
    (301 votes)
  • 60%
    Use a mid-to-high draft pick
    (870 votes)
  • 14%
    Let someone on the roster start (Crosby, Wiggins)
    (208 votes)
  • 4%
    (59 votes)
1438 votes total Vote Now

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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.