Dec 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola (51) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Dominic Raiola Helps Detroit Lions Rebuild O-Line, Restructures Deal

Detroit Lions Center Dominic Raiola helped the lions address immediate offensive line needs by restructuring the last year of his contract. He also helped the Lions buy valuable time for rebuilding of their aging offensive line.  Time the Detroit Lions should take advantage of by drafting offensive line in this years draft.

There are quite a few options available for the Lions to bolster the line in the upcoming 2013 draft. With available prospects like Barrett Jones, Eric Fischer, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson the Lions can pick up a major talent early. There is also plenty of depth in the pool to draft o-line late in the draft. Picking up two linemen would help the lions in this season and next. If the Lions were to draft a couple of studs to replace Dominic Raiola and Jeff Backus they can prevent a potential disaster in the trenches in 2014.

Although the game has changed to a more pass oriented offensive philosophy, it is still vital to have talent up front.  Drafting o-line would give the rookies a full year to learn the offensive scheme behind a veteran line. That experience will help them be more  effective when asked to start in the 2014 campaign.  If the Lions do not address this need in the draft they risk having to replace key positions along the line simultaneously in 2014.  That  would absorb many of the resources the lions could use plug holes elsewhere and thwart plans to build a perennial contender.

Hopefully Martin Mayhew and company can stay ahead of the Lions age old opponents, attrition and injury, by address upcoming needs now.  Drafting offensive line in 2013 gives the Lions more options instead of taking whoever is available on the free agent market in 2014. Dominic Raiola gave the Detroit Lions a gift by restructuring his deal.  Hopefully they don’t squander the opportunity by ignoring the future needs of the line. After all, it protects the main cog in their offensive attack, Matt Stafford.

Tags: Detroit Lions Dominic Raiola NFL Draft

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