Andrew Thomas | OT | Georgia
There was some question whether the Lions would opt to exercise the fifth-year option on former 2016 first-round selection and starting left tackle Taylor Decker this offseason. Yet, Detroit decided to do so in April, securing Decker’s services through 2020.
Still, Decker is far from the draft home run most expected him to become. And the Lions couldn’t be blamed for wanting to upgrade the position, especially considering their 10-year quarterback is currently occupying a spot on the bench due to a back injury.
Since getting the gig as Detroit’s general manager back in 2016, Bob Quinn has made some huge investments to the offensive line. And that all started with Decker in 2016. The following year, high-priced free agents in right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang were signed. And in 2018, Arkansas center Frank Ragnow was Detroit’s first-round selection.
That investment trend could continue in 2020 as protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford is needed now more than ever. And Georgia’s Andrew Thomas could be the top offensive lineman on the board when Detroit’s number is called early in the first round of next year’s draft.
With athleticism that should be off the charts, Thomas figures to be a franchise left tackle on the NFL-level. A plug-n-play starter, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman played both right and left tackle at Georgia.
That means Thomas could come in and instantly replace either Decker or 30-year old right tackle Rick Wagner along Detroit’s offensive line if the team decides to move on from either this offseason.