5 free agents who should be on Detroit Lions' radar to replace Jonah Jackson

As the Lions look to replace Jonah Jackson, these five free agents should be on their radar.
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It was expected, as rumors of other teams interested and a booming market for free agent guards came to fruition. But the Detroit Lions indeed lost guard Jonah Jackson in free agency, to the Los Angeles Rams.

If the season started today, which of course it does not, Kayode Awosika would be the starting left guard for the Lions. No offense to Awosika, but that is not ideal. And if it does happen come September, something will have gone very wrong. Using an early draft pick in April on a guard feels a little more likely now, but shy of that a veteran addition should be on the radar too to keep the Lions' offensive line among the best in the league.

Re-signing Graham Glasgow was clearly a priority, and it was clear the Lions chose him over Jackson knowing Jackson would exceed what they were willing to do to bring him back. But there is a hole on the other side of center Frank Ragnow, and if the Lions weren't going to pay Jackson that made them unlikely to pivot to another high-priced option to replace him.

So turning toward what is now the secondary wave of free agency, here are five free agents who should be on the Lions' radar as they look to replace Jackson.

5 free agents who should be on Detroit Lions' radar to replace Jonah Jackson

5. Kevin Zeitler

It's somewhat surprising Zeitler is still available, coming off a good season (and his first career Pro Bowl selection) with the Baltimore Ravens. He's also a right guard by trade over his 12 NFL seasons, so the first thought is the Lions wouldn't sign him unless Glasgow had departed in free agency.

Displacing Glasgow after how well he played on the right side last season feels foolish. But perhaps his greatest strength is his versatility, and it's worth noting he started his career playing left guard for the Lions in 2016 and 2017. And during his press conference after his re-signing was official, talking about the loss of Jackson, here's what Glasgow said (h/t to SI.com).

"I think we can still be really, really good," Glasgow said. "I think Jonah's an amazing player. He's very talented. He's a good guard. I just said this, 'I think the contract speaks for itself.' A lot of other teams also think that Jonah's really good. At the end of the day, it just comes down to, we're gonna work, we're gonna get after it and we'll figure it out." 

Could the process, however early right now, of figuring out how Jackson will be replaced include getting Glasgow's thoughts on playing the left side? Zeitler's asking price may have to fall now, and his PFF grade last season (71.6) was not far below Glasgow's top-10 grade among all guards.

Zeitler obviously wouldn't be the direct replacement for Jackson at left guard, but he would replace him on the Lions' offensive line in the big picture. If Glasgow is willing to move over to accommodate the move...