Lions: Did They Really Improve Offensively?

6 of 7

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Laken Tomlinson (Duke) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number twenty-eight overall pick to the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

The Lions offensive line was awful last year. Detroit took the steps to give Stafford and running backs the ability to make plays happen and that should pay big dividends for the Lions as a team. It starts in the trenches, and getting rid of Raiola and Sims was a sign the Lions were finally ready to overhaul the offensive line for the better.

Detroit traded back in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and in the process they gained a valued asset in Manny Ramirez, who returns to the Lions after spending time with the Denver Broncos. I don’t expect Ramirez to start, but he does help as depth. Depth killed the Lions last year, they didn’t have the depth to withstand the injuries the offensive line. Ramirez can play both guard positions and center, instantly improving their depth at three positions along the line.

Detroit drafted Laken Thomlinson in the first round, and many questioned “why a guard in the first round?” The Lions had a significant need at that position and it was imperative the Lions took the steps to protect Matthew Stafford. Thomlinson was a great pick – he isn’t just a good football player, he’s a smart kid who has a lot of promise at guard.

Thomlinson gives the Lions a good player, but on top of that he gives the Lions a good guy. I see Thomlinson being really good, he’s a guy who could be a leader on the Detroit offensive line.

Same, Better or Worse?

Next: Fullback and Overview