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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions: Five things you should know about Laken Tomlinson

Five things you should know about offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (Duke) who was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.

  1. He has patterned his game after Lions’ right guard Larry Warford. Tomlinson first talked about this at the NFL combine in February when he had no idea he would be drafted by the Lions. “I’m excited too to play with (Warford). Obviously, I’ve done my research on him,’’ Tomlinson said on a conference call Thursday night. “There’s similarities in our games with the physicality and our technique and our feet, I think those are the most similar in our game. Just the opportunity to practice with a player that you’ve researched and I’ve looked up so much to, it’s just amazing.”

  2. It seems likely that Tomlinson could be plugged in at left guard but that is yet to be seen. Veteran Manny Ramirez, who was acquired in the draft trade, will figure into the picture too. This Lions coaching staff makes every player earn the start. Tomlinson won’t be handed anything just because he’s a first-round pick. He’ll have to work for it. “We haven’t got out on the field yet. We haven’t been in pads yet,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said of the offensive line. “Until we get in pads I won’t be able to tell you. We do have more depth than we had previously. We got some very important pieces in place. We will see what happens when we go through this gauntlet.”

  3. Don’t put too much weight into fact that other draft experts had Tomlinson pegged as a second-round pick. The proof will be on the field. General Manager Martin Mayhew and his staff create their own draft boards and they had Tomlinson in the first round from the start of the process. “Our college director Scotty (McEwen) saw him. Chad Henry, (Duke is) one of Chad’s schools. I did a lot of work on him. Jeremiah Washburn did as well. So he’s a phenomenal talent,’’ Mayhew said. The Lions first got to know him better when they interviewed him at the Senior Bowl.

  4. Tomlinson on his game: “My strengths are that I play with great physical fundamentals, I play with good pad leverage and I get a good push on our defensive lineman. I play real wide on my feet and I am one hell of a play. I work at 125 percent and I am going to wear my guys out. That’s just kind of my game.” (VIDEO OF TOMLINSON AT NFL COMBINE)

  5. His family moved to Chicago from Jamaica when he was 11 years old. All he knew was soccer at the time. But he got so big (he’s 6-3, 330 now) that his uncle suggested he get into American football. So he did. “We played a lot of soccer in Jamaica. I would say I was a pretty athletic guy coming to the United States,’’ Tomlinson said. “It has affected my work ethic. Just playing those pick-up games with my cousins and being competitive with my cousins and older brother in Jamaica just molded the mentality that I bring to my game today.”


(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)


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