Now is time to start beefing up offensive line
If a quality offensive lineman is available with the Lions’ first pick at 23rd overall, they could jump at the chance. Martin Mayhew does look for the best available player when their time comes, so while they may not be seeking a first-round offensive lineman they probably would not shy away from drafting one. If there’s any doubt remember they drafted DT Nick Fairley last year with the 13th overall pick, even though the defensive line was solid.
While the Lions intend to re-sign LT Jeff Backus, at some point they have to look to the future. They have no problem with how the offensive line played in 2011, but age is creeping up on them. Center Dominic Raiola is 33 and Backus is 34. Both are sturdy, ironmen type of players but they can’t play forever.
If the Lions draft a first-round tackle, Mike Adams out of Ohio State might be the best bet.
Here’s what NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had to say about Adams at the NFL Combine: “Mike Adams’ biggest challenges are going to be in the meeting rooms. He’s not a strong guy; 19 reps at 225, that translates on the field, both upper body and more importantly to me is his core strength. I don’t see the core strength. He’s long, he’s got good feet, he’s got a prototypical left tackle’s body. I’m not buying into the fact yet that he’s definitely going in the first round just because his strength and just some questions about immaturity.”
Or maybe the Lions will pass on a tackle. NFLdraftscout,com had Adams rated as the fourth best tackle available behind USC’s Matt Kalil, Iowa’s Riley Reiff and Stanford’s Jonathan Martin.
If they look for a guard, Stanford’s David DeCastro would certainly be tempting. However, there’s a good chance he’ll be gone by the 23rd pick.
Here’s what Mayock had to say about him: “When you get him, you’re going to plug him in Day 1 and he’s going to be your starting guard — of course the exception could be injury or free agency — but he could be your starting guard for the next 10 years. That’s what the Cowboys need; they need to keep getting younger and more athletic in that offensive line.”
A more likely possibility at a guard who could be available at 23rd is Georgia’s Cordy Glenn who is ranked as the second best guard in the draft by National Football Post and NFLdraftscout.com.
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