Detroit Lions' offensive line takes rightful place with offseason dust settled

With offseason moves basically in the books, the Detroit Lions' offensive line has taken its rightful place according to Pro Football Focus.
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It's not breaking news the Detroit Lions have a strong offensive line. The investments made in that group have been significant over the years, with three first-round picks as the anchors. Paving the way for a strong running game, and providing good protection for a quarterback who has to have it, there is no more important unit on the team.

Four of the Lions' five starting offensive lineman posted top-10 grades at their position from Pro Football last season. Frank Ragnow was the No. 1 center (88.8 overall grade), Right tackle Penei Sewell was the top offensive tackle and overall offensive lineman (92.8 overall grade). Left tackle Taylor Decker (81.1 overall grade) was the No. 9 offensive tackle, and right guard Graham Glasgow was the No. 8 guard (74.9 overall grade).

With the Philadelphia Eagles losing center Jason Kelce to retirement, the Lions' offensive line could now be considered the best in the NFL by a noticeable margin.

Lions' offensive line takes rightful place with offseason dust settled

The Lions' most notable offseason loss was left guard Jonah Jackson, who got a nice contract from the Los Angeles Rams. But he was also coming off a down, injury-hampered season, and at the price he would command bringing him back became less and less likely until he was indeed gone.

The Lions pivoted, adding veteran guard Kevin Zeitler on a one-year deal. A right guard by trade, his signing meant Glasgow would move over to left guard. But Glasgow has played left guard at a solid level before, and the Detroit offensive line remains a strength. Zeitler's Pro Football Focus grade last season (71.6 overall) was 15th-best among guards.

John Kosko of Pro Football Focus went position-by-position to determine the strongest and weakest positions groups in the NFL after free agency and the draft. The Lions were highlighted as the strongest offensive line.

"The Lions take the top spot despite the Philadelphia Eagles having had a stranglehold on that ranking for years before Jason Kelce retired this offseason. Center Frank Ragnow and right tackle Penei Sewell are the top-ranked players at their respective positions, while Graham Glasgow and Taylor Decker also place top 10 at their positions. This is an extremely stout unit that now boasts Kevin Zeitler, whose 71.6 PFF grade in 2023 ranked 15th among guards."

There has been worthy debate before. But the Lions' offensive line is now clearly in its rightful place heading toward the 2024 season. The best in the league, regardless of how you may slice it.


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