Earlier in the week, we talked about whether Joe Dahl could finally work his way into the starting the lineup in the fourth and final year on his rookie deal. Now let’s talk about another person from that same draft class whose Detroit Lions career has been a little more eventful: fellow offensive lineman Graham Glasgow.
Glasgow has started all but five games in his Lions career, but there’s reason to believe his future with Detroit isn’t quite as secure as that would suggest. Here’s our roster review of Graham Glasgow.
Expectations before 2018
When the Lions drafted Frank Ragnow in the first round, it was unsure what that meant for Graham Glasgow. Were they unhappy with his play at center? Were they simply utilizing his versatility? Was Ragnow just too good of a prospect to pass up on?
But when it became clear Ragnow was going play at left guard for 2018, all those concerns were quelled, and Glasgow was expected to play at a solid, if not spectacular, level as Detroit’s center.
Actual role in 2018
2018 stats: 16 games (16 starts)
PFF grade: 68.2 (15th among centers)
That’s pretty much what the Lions got in 2018. A solid performance from a reliable player. In 2018, Glasgow missed just one single snap, building upon his performance in 2017, in which he didn’t miss a single play on offense.
As for the quality of his play, it varied pretty wildly. Like the rest of the team, he got a little beat up by the Vikings and Rams. However, Glasgow put up commendable efforts against the Bears, Patriots and Cardinals specifically. He is one of the team’s best pass blockers, although his run blocking could use improvement.
Outlook for 2019
Contract status: Rookie contract ends after 2019 season
Glasgow has been a staple of the Lions’ offensive line for the past three years, but you have to wonder if that may change. It’s a contract year for Glasgow and it’s now clear Detroit is changing his position. Ragnow is getting moved to center, which means Glasgow is sliding over to right guard, where he’s likely to win the camp competition.
Glasgow played guard in his rookie year, so the transition shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the 26-year-old, but the spot may not be guaranteed for him. Towards the end of minicamp and OTAs we saw Glasgow rotate occasionally with the second-team offense as a backup center and guard. Perhaps they simply wanted to continue to give him center reps in case of injury, or maybe there’s something else happening. If the Lions are making that transition to a run-heavy offense, it may not fit Glasgow’s skill set as well.
That being said, the coaching staff has still expressed their confidence in the Michigan grad.
“The thing about Graham, I always forget, all the time—he’s actually, he’s very long. He’s tall,” head coach Matt Patricia said last month. “He’s got good, short-space quickness, which in the guard position is really good, especially against some of the quicker defensive tackles that we’re seeing nowadays. Obviously, there’s variations of defensive tackles we see in between guys that are bigger body, two-gap players, as opposed to one-gap, kind of get up field. So, he’s very intelligent, very smart.”
Having a smart, versatile offensive lineman who rarely misses any playing time is highly valuable to any team, but with the changes Detroit is making to their offense and offensive line, will he continue to be a fit here? The position change and the second-team practice reps could be real signs of Detroit planning to move on, but they can just as easily be explained for more benevolent reasons.
Personally, I think he’s a fairly easy re-sign. Glasgow is still relatively young. He can play three different positions on the line at, at least, an average level. And perhaps most importantly, the Lions don’t have a better option on the roster.
General manager Bob Quinn likes to extend players on the final year of their contract around training camp, so we could find out Glasgow’s fate quite soon.
Should the Lions re-sign Graham Glasgow?
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