Detroit Lions: Grades by Position Group

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Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions offensive guard Larry Warford (75) during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Detroit won 40-10. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

Starters: Riley Reiff, Rob Sims, Dominic Raoila, Larry Warford, LaAdrian Waddle

Reserves: Corey Hilliard, Cornelius Lucas, Travis Swanson

Practice Squad: Michael Williams, Rodney Austin

Grade: B

Earlier this year Sports Illustrated ranked the Lions’ offensive line as the third best in the NFL. To some this may come as a surprise, to others not so much.

The Lions gave up only 23 sacks all year which was the second least behind the Denver Broncos.

Larry Warford was thought to be a steal in the third-round of the 2013 NFL Draft for general manager Martin Mayhew and all Warford did was prove everyone right. He didn’t allow a single sack all year and received the fourth highest grade among all offensive guards, as well as earn PFF’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

I think this year we’ll see relatively more of the same success, but don’t be surprised to see a small decline in production either.

Riley Reiff heads into his second full year as the starting left tackle and will look to improve on his serviceable year prior. LaAdrian Waddle was a hidden gem for the Lions last year and was consistently shutting defensive ends down from the right side. He’s struggled throughout training camp so there is some concern whether he can repeat his solid rookie performance.

Rob Sims went from being the most reliable offensive lineman for the Lions in 2012 to possibly the least reliable last year. It doesn’t help that he’s not getting any younger. Raiola is coming off of arguably the best season of his career and is likely heading into his final season as a Lion. I’d be surprised if we see the same type of performance.