My Interior Offensive Line Rankings

The Lions offensive line was better than many give them credit for, especially considering that RG Stephen Peterman played with a painful foot injury all season and the Lions were breaking in their 16th left guard in nine seasons.  The Lions aren’t expected to be on the lookout for a new starter at guard or center, but the Lions sorely lack depth at all three of those positions and it wouldn’t hurt to start grooming a replacement for C Dominic Raiola.

The Lions are building the team around Matthew Stafford and the passing game, so there is a premium placed on pass blocking.  However, the Lions have struggled with running the ball in short yardage and obvious running downs so they may be interested in adding some competition or targeting players that add a little more punch at the point of attack.

The best way to build within the trenches is to spend draft picks on the offensive and defensive line every year.  The Lions have drafted two young tackles in the last two years (Lydon Murtha and Jason Fox) but they have not drafted an interior lineman yet.  With only six draft picks this year, drafting a developmental guard or center may be a luxury the Lions can’t afford, but if the Lions do target an interior lineman here are my rankings.

These rankings will vary from some other rankings you’ll see because these are team specific and scheme specific.  Some players are left off my rankings because they are not a good fit for the Lions. 

Since I have limited resources to work with, my evaluations don’t extend past 3rd or 4th round prospects.  These rankings are based on a combination of various scouting reports, game footage, Senior Bowl practices, Combine coverage, draft related articles and opinions from sources.  The players’ names link to the scouting reports on www.nationalfootballpost.com.

Guards
My Rank Player, Pos, Team Height Weight
1 Mike Pouncey C, Florida 6-4 310
2 Clint Boling OG, Georgia 6-5 315
3 Jason Pinkston OG, Pittsburgh 6-4 305
4 Will Rackley OG, Lehigh 6-4 310
5 Stephen Schilling OG, Michigan 6-5 308
6 Danny Watkins OG, Baylor 6-4 310
7 Marcus Cannon OT, T-C-U 6-6 350
8 DeMarcus Love OG, Arkansas 6-5 315
9 Andrew Jackson OG, Fresno State 6-6 295
10 David Arkin OG, Missouri State 6-5 302
11 Ray Dominguez OG, Arkansas 6-4 329
12 Brad Thorson OG, Kansas 6-5 310
13 Keith Williams OG, Nebraska 6-5 310
14 Kevin Hughes OG, SE Louisiana 6-4 290
15 Ricky Henry OG, Nebraska 6-4 305
       
Centers
My Rank Player, Pos, Team Height Weight
1 Stefen Wisniewski C, Penn State 6-3 306
2 Rodney Hudson OG, Florida State 6-2 297
3 Brandon Fusco C, Slippery Rock (PA) 6-4 300
4 Zane Taylor C, Utah 6-2 309
5 Jake Kirkpatrick C, T-C-U 6-3 305
6 Ryan Bartholomew C, Syracuse 6-2 298
7 Russell Nenon C, Wake Forest 6-4 295

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