All-NFC North Offense: How many starters do the Lions have?

Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Credit: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin /

Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari

Backup: Taylor Decker

Another relatively easy position to evaluate here. Both the Bears and Vikings will have rookie left tackles this season. Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari is the best in the entire NFL, so that isn’t meant to be a shot at Lions tackle Taylor Decker, who is also among the top lineman in the league.

Left Guard: Cody Whitehair

Backup: Elgton Jenkins

For those who paid attention to our division rivals last season, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair moved from center to left guard, which improved his game tremendously. In fact, the switch made him on par with Packers left guard Elgton Jenkins when it came to pass blocking. Not to mention Whitehair is years ahead of Jenkins in run blocking.

Even though Lions left guard Jonah Jackson had a promising rookie season, he still has ways to go before he can catch up to those two. As for the Vikings, it’s unclear how their guards will stack up this season. The word is that second-year lineman Ezra Cleveland and veteran center Mason Cole will battle for the starting position at left guard.

Center: Frank Ragnow

Backup: Sam Mustipher

Lions fan’s hold your heads high. We can proudly say we have the best center in the NFC North, perhaps even the NFL. With an All-Pro performance last year, no one will doubt this decision.

Moving on to the backup spot, it will come down to two names. Bears center Sam Mustipher and Vikings center Garrett Bradbury. Note that the Packers will start rookie Josh Meyers. When I looked into both, Bradburry fairs better as a run blocker, but Mustipher, who broke onto the scene last season, was much more well-rounded and miles better as a pass protector.