clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mailbag: How early is too early for the Detroit Lions to draft offensive line?

The Detroit Lions could use an offensive lineman for the future. Is the first round too early in the NFL Draft?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Bowling Green at Tennessee Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions offensive line is arguably the team’s biggest strength. The team currently features three first-round picks, three Pro Bowl talents, and to make things even better, three of their starters are 26 years old or younger. They are built both for the here and now and the future.

But keeping a strength a strength requires a lot of plate spinning. As soon as one contract is coming to a close, it’s the general manager’s job to make sure another is in its place, whether it’s an extension or a new player. Plus, Brad Holmes has specifically said he does not pay too much attention to the depth chart during draft week and said he doesn’t mind continuing to add to a strong position if the right player is there.

So that begs the question: when is it too early for the Lions to draft an offensive lineman this year? There’s a clear-cut long-term need at right guard, and we’re getting close to a time when the Lions could be preparing for life after Taylor Decker, whose contract expires after the 2024 season.

That’s one of our main topics on this week’s podcast, and that discussion starts around the 31:45 mark of our midweek mailbag podcast. Here’s an excerpt of that conversation:

Erik Schlitt: “I’ve gone from saying, ‘Everyone is way too low on Darnell Wright. If he’s there at 18, I’m taking him’ to now saying, ‘Uh oh, he might not be there at 18.’”


Schlitt: “I do think the idea of getting an offensive lineman—let’s say they trade down from 6 and take (Peter) Skoronski at 11 or if Skoronski slides and he’s there at 18, great! I think Skoronski and Wright are the best two offensive linemen in this draft, and if either of them are there at 18, that’s a huge win in my book.”

I’m a little more skeptical of the strategy, specifically with taking G/T flexible prospects and assuming they’ll be able to play both at a high level in the pros.

Jeremy Reisman: “The idea of starting a guy at guard with the intention of him eventually replacing one of your tackles—I don’t recall that ever happening. Maybe it has, maybe it happens a lot and I’m not aware of it, but that seems like a great theory, but much tougher in practice.”

Check out our full conversation in the episode embedded below.

Other topics on this week’s show:

  • How much would a theoretical Trey Lance trade cost and would you do it? (3:00)
  • Is there any concern that Aaron Glenn cannot develop certain types of cornerbacks after the failures of Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye? (10:15)
  • How big of news is Levi Onwuzurike participating in offseason workouts? (16:00)
  • How much room does the roster have for significant contributors? Could the Lions trade up and only pick 4-5 times this year? (18:15)
  • Would you be okay if Brad Holmes traded both second-round picks to get back into the first round a third time? (23:00)
  • Is it better to trade up from 6 to get Will Anderson and stay at pick 18 or would you rather stay at pick 6 and jump up from 18 to get Devon Witherspoon or Christian Gonzalez? (27:45)
  • Why isn’t there more hype on A.T. Perry? (36:45)
  • Predictions for the 18 pick. (42:00)

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.