The Detroit Lions have had a busy offseason of adding players, and at this point, the job could be seen as nearly done ahead of the post-workout slowdown just ahead of training camp.
Still, that isn’t stopping folks from proclaiming that the team needs to make at least one more move before the offseason is complete. Where that move should come is also a matter of debate considering it might be one of the more stacked parts of the team’s roster at this point.
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Bleacher Report recently took a look at the one move that every team still has to make this offseason, and the site along with writer Maurice Moton seems to think that depth for the team’s offensive line should still be on the menu the rest of the offseason.
Moton believes the Lions need to sign a swing tackle to the mix, and wrote that Detroit should be pursuing the likes of free agent tackles Nate Solder or Riley Reiff, a former member of the Lions.
“Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell will start at left and right tackle, respectively, but the Lions could benefit from adding an experienced perimeter blocker as an alternative to fourth-year pro Matt Nelson,” Moton wrote in the piece.
The idea? Nelson is a decent player, but he doens’t offer the Lions the upside of a veteran who has lots of snaps under his belt. Specifically, as Moton wrote, the team may gain a bit more in run support from a veteran addition.
“Though Nelson made 11 starts at right tackle last season, Reiff or Solder may be an upgrade as a run-blocker on the edge if needed in a pinch,” he said.
Detroit’s offensive line is already pretty deep, so this kind of move may be a surprise if it were to play out at all. The Lions may look elsewhere for another addition rather than adding to a group that already figures to be solid for 2022.
Still, that doesn’t stop some folks from making the suggestion about what they see as a major need.
Solder, Reiff’s Career Stats & Highlights
If the Lions would covet experience up front as suggested in this piece, it’s not likely the team could be able to do much better than the pair that Moton suggested. First, starting with Solder, the former tackle is a two-time Super Bowl champion from his time with the New England Patriots and has started in 143 games in his career between New England and the New York Giants. Though he didn’t live up to his massive free agency contract, he could be a good veteran value buy for someone on the market, perhaps even a team like Detroit if they deemed the line a big need.
In terms of Reiff, Lions fans will already know him well. He was Detroit’s first-round pick out of Iowa in 2012 and had a five-year career with Detroit before departing for Minnesota. Reiff has 136 starts under his belt, and also played with the Cincinnati Bengals last year.
Either player would be a decent short-term buy for the Lions, but the team has shown they are more fond of going with younger players or underrated players, making these signings potentially unlikely no matter how much experience they may offer.
Lions’ Offensive Line Could Already Have Elite Depth
The Lions themselves may not even be in the market for a move like this, because the team might believe they already have a deep line. It might be a bold statement by some to call this group one of the best in the entire league, but it shows the confidence the Lions and others have to start the year, and with good reason. Detroit has a pair of solid tackles in Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, an elite center in Frank Ragnow, a Pro Bowl guard in Jonah Jackson and a player who had a very strong bounce-back 2021 season in Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Along with the depth the team has found in the likes of Evan Brown, Ryan McCollum, Nelson and Tommy Kraemer, there is no reason the Lions can’t have the kind of depth Moton is talking about already on the roster no matter the lack of experience some may have.
Detroit is taking on the look of a line that is hard to play against and has depth. Not only can they push people around in the run game, but they might be able to give their quarterback an elite pocket in 2022. If that is the case, advantage Lions next season in a big way.
If the team was to add another lineman, they would only get tougher to play against in the trenches. Right now, that’s the move that some folks think the team needs to make to finish off the 2022 offseason.