Former Packers Praise Lions Offensive Line: ‘I Really, Really Like Them’

Ahman Green

Getty Ahman Green speaks at a 2015 event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Very quietly, the Detroit Lions have been building a serious NFL roster that can surprise in the coming years and in no place is that more true than along the offensive line.

Detroit’s line is already seen as one of the best in the league by many metrics, and now, some folks on the outside are beginning to take notice in terms of the damage the team might soon do on the field. That includes former Green Bay Packers players as well.

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During the On My Block podcast from Bleav.com, former Green Bay offensive lineman Mike Wahle as well as running back Ahman Green offered major praise for the Lions and their offensive line. The duo cited the Lions as a team that could contend with the Packers as having the best offensive line in the division and perhaps even the NFL.

Wahle ran down the various players up front on the show and their strengths and weaknesses, and his conclusion was he likes what the Lions have built moving forward for the future.

“I think this is actually a really good offensive line. I really, really like them. I like that room as much as I like anybody in the league,” Wahle said on the show.

Green, for his part, agreed with that notion in a big way and a big reason was Detroit’s versatility up front to impact the game both with regards to the run and the pass.

“You got guys that can run block, that can pass block. And you see the ability with (Penei) Sewell to come out of that cocoon, to flourish from that left tackle to right tackle standpoint,” he said.

Former players at these key positions offering up this praise is not to be taken lightly. It shows the Lions could have themselves the making of a forceful unit up front starting in 2022. The fact that the players are former Packers is merely icing on the cake for the Lions.


Hank Fraley Cited Major Reason for Lions Success

As a former offensive lineman would know, the key to the team having a solid roster is coaching and development. The Lions have both those elements in spades according to Whale, who sees a star in Detroit’s offensive line coach Hank Fraley. As Whale specifically said on the podcast, Fraley could be the biggest reason for the team’s turnaround up front and development into one of the best offensive lines in the game.

“They got a great coach, Hank Fraley, he was a player. He was a center for the Cleveland Browns, six other teams. He is a phenomenal coach. When they fired their staff, guys came into the general manager and president’s office and said ‘look, you cannot get rid of this guy. He’s that good.’ He’s one of the best guys in the business,” Wahle said.

Indeed, Fraley has become one of the most well-regarded line coaches around given his work in Detroit. The team keeping him as a transitional piece seems like a stroke of genius from the front office as well as Dan Campbell upon taking the reigns in 2021.


Lions’ Offensive Line Looks Stout This Year

it might be a bold statement by some to call this Detroit group one of the best in the entire league or even as good as a team like Green Bay, 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 Decker and Sewell, an elite center in Ragnow, a Pro Bowl guard in 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, Matt Nelson and Tommy Kraemer, there is no reason this can’t be the case almost immediately.

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 that ends up being the case, a pair of old Detroit rivals might admit they saw it coming all along.

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