As mentioned above this is a glaring weakness of this team. Taylor Decker, the second year left tackle, was injured coming into the season and the domino effect was felt by the whole offense.
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Despite inking T.J. Lang, guard, and Rick Wagner, right tackle, to big free agent deals, the Lions running game and protection have been near the bottom all year.
The unit as a whole is screaming for more talent, and the biggest ability that has been lacking this season is availability. The roster has been desperate to find five competent players to start since week one. Only guard Graham Glasgow has played all season.
Drafting a prospect early that can play left tackle, right tackle, and guard seems like a way to address both future and present needs.
The rookie could first play inside to learn the offense and slide to tackle if needed, or in an upcoming season. He needs to be big and athletic, because we cannot have another year where Stafford has no competent left tackle protecting his blind side for weeks on end. A player like Martinas Rankin, from Mississippi State, 6′ 5″, 315 pounds, and agile (5.17 forty), could be the kind of guy who wouldn’t demand your first round pick, but who might grow into a starting role.