The Detroit Lions traded for former first round selection Greg Robinson and signed free agent Cyrus Kouandjio in an attempt to fill the void at starting left tackle.
The Detroit Lions knew their upcoming season was in jeopardy when their best offensive lineman, second-year tackle Taylor Decker, suffered a shoulder injury in practice two weeks ago that now looks to have him sidelined for much of the year.
On Thursday, the Lions took two major steps in trying to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s blind side. According to reports, Detroit traded the Los Angeles Rams a sixth-round draft selection in 2018 for fourth-year tackle Greg Robinson.
Robinson was the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. But the former first rounder out of Auburn was a bust for Rams, who the team attempted to switch him to right tackle this offseason. The 24-year old Robinson was a candidate for possible release prior to this trade anyway.
Hedging their bets, the Lions also signed free agent tackle Cyrus Kouandjio on Thursday. Kouandjio was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of that very same 2014 NFL Draft. After three lackluster seasons in Buffalo and starting just five games last season at left tackle due to a hip injury, the Bills waive the 23-year old late last month.
What Detroit has now done is thrown two young, formerly talented and presumably hungry candidates into the mix to possibly fill-in for Decker until he is able to return. Both Robinson and Kouandjio are expected to battle existing players like Joe Dahl, Tony Hills and Cornelius Lucas for that coveted starting role at left tackle.
Both moves appear to be relativity inexpensive gambles by general manager Bob Quinn that could end up saving the Detroit Lions’ upcoming season.