Lions: Newly signed former first round pick to start at right guard?

With the Detroit Lions expected to move on from starting guard Graham Glasgow, are they planning to fill the void by committee or perhaps with the newly signed Joshua Garnett?

Graham Glasgow should be a priority in the eyes of general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia, yet it appears the Detroit Lions brass are prepared to let him walk.  It’s a move that would make no sense what so ever.

Last season Glasgow provided the Lions with a respectable 74.1 overall rating.  He proved to be a better run blocker than pass blocker, something the Lions have struggled with for quite some time.

Graham has proven to be a very versatile asset to this team. He’s not only just a starting guard, but he’s also a former starting center.  If anything were to happen to the future all-pro Frank Ragnow, Glasgow is very familiar with Matthew Stafford under center, and there wouldn’t be an issue with communication or pre-snap protection calls.

It appears the Detroit Lions are not prepared to sign Glasgow to anything near what he will command on the open market.  He’s due to hit the jackpot, being a top-three player available at his position.  Joe Thuney of the New England Patriots is the big fish on the market unless the Patriots decide to use the franchise tag for his services.

I’d expect Glasgow to fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-million per season on a long-term deal.  Although I disagree with allowing him to walk, the thought process in Detroit is focusing on a defense that struggled to stop a plastic bag blowing in the wind last year.

Detroit seems content with just band-aiding their offensive line and telling Matt Stafford to figure it out on his own rather than spending a large sum of money to ensure he’ll be protected.  One would assume the Lions would be wary with Stafford’s health knowing he’s had broken bones in his back that has lingered for the last two seasons.

Not only do the Detroit Lions risk losing Glasgow, but swingman Kenny Wiggins is also a pending free agent.  Although I’m not a fan of the guard rotation the Lions used last season, Wiggins is a reliable backup lineman the Lions will consider bringing back.

Joshua Garnett is a former first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers.  He was selected with the 28th pick in the 2016 NFL draft.  He’s failed to make a single appearance in two complete seasons throughout his young career due to various injuries.  He’s suffered knee, hand, and foot injuries.  Last season Garnett was released by the 49ers just before the start of the regular season and failed to find work elsewhere.

In 2016, his rookie season Garnett produced an overall rating of 61.5 courtesy of Pro Football Focus.  It would be a significant drop in production from Glasgow but for a fraction of the price. Detroit is hoping a change of scenery, and a second chance will help Garnett develop into the player he once was during his college days.  He won the Outland Trophy at Stanford, awarded to the best interior lineman in all of college football, so there is potential here, Detroit needs to find a way to get it out of him similar to what the 49ers have found in former Lion Laken Tomlinson.

Next: Three free agents from the New England Patriots to sign

Detroit is expected to see an offseason guard battle between Wiggins (if re-signed), Garnett, Beau Benzschawel, and potentially a rookie the team may draft in the 2020 NFL draft.