To say that expectations are high for the Detroit Lions’ offensive line in 2022 would be an understatement. The unit has two Pro Bowlers in center Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson. Additionally, they have one of the most underrated left tackles in the game in former first-round pick Taylor Decker, and a potential top-five offensive tackle in last year’s first-round pick Penei Sewell. That’s four out of five positions in which the Lions not only have above-average talent, but potentially elite players.
Last year, the unit played quite well despite the fact that two of its best players—Decker and Ragnow—missed significant time with injury. Their 2021 performance ranked 13th in the league per PFF’s final rankings, which is quite impressive when you consider that their starting lineup did not include their five best players for a single snap that season.
With Sewell expected to potentially make a big Year 2 jump and the line entering OTAs much more healthy than they ended the season, suddenly the bar has been raised... and raised significantly.
PFF analyst Mike Renner has his preliminary top-five rankings for offensive line, and the Detroit Lions not only cracked the top five, but the top three:
It’s fair to say expectations inside the building at Allen Park match that prediction.
“I would say this is the most talented line I’ve been a part of, 100 percent,” Decker said last week. “I’m not necessarily a talent evaluator, but we’ve just got a bunch of guys that are smart, confident, athletic. We can get out and run a bunch of guys on the perimeter, or we can run downhill–one-back power, two-back power, duo, whatever it may be. We’ve got guys that can just do a lot of things.”
“I think we can be the best in the league,” Jackson said back in April. “I know we can be the best in the league.”
Talk is cheap this early in the offseason, but the bar has been set for this unit, and it couldn’t be much higher.