We knew Pro Football Focus ranked the Detroit Lions among the league’s best offensive lines, but analyst Mike Renner has now fully fleshed out why.
When healthy together, as they never were last season, it’s easy to see the Detroit Lions potentially having one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. It’s just a matter of having everyone on the field at the same time, which they were again at last week’s minicamp.
We also know Pro Football Focus thinks highly of the Lions’ starting five lineman, with a tweet teasing that analyst Mike Renner has them as the No. 3 offensive line in the league last month. Invidually, PFF has ranked center Frank Ragnow as the third-best player at his position. Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell have also being regarded well as a tackle tandem.
On Monday, Renner’s full 2022 offensive line rankings were released.
The Lions are obviously at No. 3 overall, in a four-team top tier labeled “Tier 1: Minor or No Weaknesses”. The full evaluation isn’t necessarily revolutionary, but it further confirms how good the Detroit offensive line can be.
Expectations for Detroit Lions set high, as they should be
Here’s what Renner wrote:
"With three first-rounders, a third-rounder and a highly paid free agent along their offensive line, the Lions look primed to recoup big time on their investments in 2022. They not only have high-end talent in Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell, who both can be top-five players at their respective positions, but they also don’t have any glaring holes. Big V was the unit’s lowest-graded starter last season, and he still earned a 68.4 overall mark."
The Lions, going back to the previous regime, have devoted prime resources to the offensive line. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was surely an overpay in free agency a couple years ago. But that he is easily the “weak link”, yet was still an above-average player last year (by PFF grade), says it all about the unit.
Decker and Vaitai will both turn 29 between now and the end of August (Vaitai turns it this week–June 16, so happy birthday to him a little early). After that Ragnow is 26 (just turned in May), left guard Jonah Jackson is 25 and Sewell will turn 22 in October.
So if anyone’s looking for an offensive line to build around, with talent and youth in spades, look no further than Detroit.