The Detroit Lions have built the foundation to become one of the strongest offensive line units in the league, according to one PFF analyst.
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey ranked the best offensive lines heading into the 2021 season, placing the Lions near the top of the list at No. 10. (That’s a high ranking for anything related to Detroit.)
Here’s exactly how Lindsey put it: “It’s fair to be optimistic about Detroit building one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.”
Boy that’s nice to read, huh? Lindsey points to left tackle Taylor Decker’s career-high 82.0 overall grade and 85.8 pass-blocking grade in 2020, as well as center Frank Ragnow’s third-best mark among the league’s centers at 80.3. The guy is constantly making top lists at his position.
Throw in rookie Penei Sewell at right tackle — the top offensive tackle on the PFF draft board — and Detroit is in good shape in 2021. The only position still in need of some work is guard, but the hope is moving Halapoulivaati Vaitai from right tackle to right guard will fix some of those pass-blocking issues, and Jonah Jackson lives up to his potential after a less-than-stellar 57.0 overall grade last season.
“The Lions appear to have built the foundation of an excellent offensive line for the foreseeable future,” he writes.
Linsey also ranked all 32 defensive line units and Detroit didn’t place as badly as you’d think, coming in at No. 24. The Lions finished the season at No. 30 but managed to climb up a few spots after adding Michael Brockers, Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill.
“It’s easy to forget, given how bad Detroit’s defense has been these past two seasons, that (Trey) Flowers is one of the better defensive linemen in the league when healthy,” Lindsey adds.
Onto the rest of your notes.
- Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett offers a great profile on the “Sack Brothers” - Romeo and Julian Okwara hoping to leave a legacy here in Detroit. (Subscription required.)
- The Lions’ three-day mandatory minicamp kicks off this week. Detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman offers five things to watch out for.
- What’s the biggest question still to be answered for the Lions? Here’s what CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan thinks is Detroit’s biggest offseason priority.
- Also from CBS Sports: One current Lion and one former Lion made Pete Prisco’s list of 100 top players in the league.
- Exciting stuff.
Photo day at Allen Park, which means for a lot of Lions players it’s their first time in full uniform. pic.twitter.com/YhSzN94vJG— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) June 7, 2021
- The league’s COVID-19 protocols are constantly evolving. In the latest news, assistant coaches who do not get the vaccine are now at risk of losing their Tier 1 access. That means they won’t be allowed on the field, in meeting rooms, or to have direct interactions with players if they don’t receive at least their first dose soon.
- Training camp hats, per our own Mike Payton: