Though it’s possible the Detroit Lions are just testing out each of their players’ versatility, the first two days of Organized Team Activities suggest there may be some big mixing and matching coming on the offensive line this year. Most notably, it’s looking more and more likely the team moves Frank Ragnow back to his college position at center and Graham Glasgow back at guard.
But those two players are far from the only two with position versatility. Many projected second-year player Tyrell Crosby to move from tackle to guard, although the Lions haven’t indicated they’re interested in doing something like that.
Head coach Matt Patricia has been saying from the beginning that he wants to sport the top five offensive linemen out there. So that begs the question: who are those people and what positions should they be playing?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What is the ideal Detroit Lions’ starting offensive line? (Using only players on the roster currently)
My answer: Let’s get the easy ones out of the way: Taylor Decker at left tackle, Rick Wagner at right tackle. Those are by far the best tackles on the roster and their experience at both positions suggests there’s no reason to change that up.
I haven’t had a problem with Graham Glasgow at center, but moving Frank Ragnow to that position makes a lot of sense. He was dominant at Arkansas at center, and he seems to love it. Let’s stick him there.
That leaves left and right guard. In terms of skill set, the positions are nearly identical, as Matt Patricia explained to the media on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot more right guards in the League that you’ll look at – maybe the bigger run-side type of the offensive line,” Patricia said. “Sometimes the left guards are maybe a little more athletic from that perspective. I would say, in general, that is not true for every guard, every tackle, from that perspective.”
So with both guards spot being interchangeable, I’d rather simply have the most experienced players at each position, due to their comfort with the footwork and technique necessary for each position.
Graham Glasgow started at left guard with the Lions during his rookie year, but played right and left guard plus center in college.
Kenny Wiggins is about equally as experienced on the left and right side, but in the past two years, he’s played almost exclusively on the right side.
Oday Aboushi started his NFL career on the left side, but has mostly played on the right in the past three years.
So it makes most sense, to me, for the Lions to sport a lineup that looks something like this:
Taylor Decker - Graham Glasgow - Frank Ragnow - Oday Aboushi - Rick Wagner
The only difference I have from what the Lions were sporting in Day 2 of OTAs was swapping the guard position and putting in Aboushi over Wiggins.