Lions work out T.J. Lang
After not being invited to the NFL combine, Eastern Michigan offensive lineman T.J. Lang is shooting up draft boards across the league.
Lang, who played all five positions at EMU, has both visited and worked out for the Lions, a source said. He's also met with the Ravens, Falcons, Chargers, Bears, Packers, Jets and Jaguars, among others, and because of his fiery demeanor could be a third-round pick.
He's an offensive tackle that I've kicked inside to guard, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Wednesday. I've got him in the fourth round and because it's a (weak) guard class I think he'll benefit.
If the Lions don't take one of the draft's top tackles Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe early and assuming Andre Smith doesn't fall to 20 I think the smartest way to address the offensive line is by snagging an interior lineman in Round 2 or 3. As much as some don't want to see Jeff Backus at left tackle, the worst thing the Lions can do is draft a middling replacement or right-side protector and try to convince themselves that's the right guy over the next five years.
The better solution is to grab someone like Louisville's Eric Wood at the top of Round 2 or Lang in Round 3 and make him a fixture at guard (or center in Wood's case) through the rebuilding process. With last year's No. 1 pick Gosder Cherilus already anchored at right tackle, the Lions could fill left tackle long term through the draft or free agency in 2010.