Kevin Zeitler signing offers Lions a major advantage heading into NFL Draft

The Detroit Lions signed guard Kevin Zeitler, which will keep their offensive line elite and put them in an enviable position come the draft.

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The Detroit Lions have had a solid start to the offseason, and news got even better this week with the signing of veteran guard Kevin Zeitler.

Zeitler, fresh off a Pro Bowl appearance, was added to bolster Detroit's offensive line that was dealing with the long-expected departure of Jonah Jackson. While the Lions had re-signed Graham Glasgow, it was clear he was only going to be one puzzle piece.

Zeitler likes what he has seen from Detroit's offensive line from afar, and spoke about his desire to maintain the standard that has already been set.

"Being able to see them on film, watch them on TV, it was like 'okay they like to run the ball. They are taking over games.' It's all great stuff and I'm honored the team wanted me to be a part of that and my only goal is to make sure I come in here, work my butt off and make sure I help keep being a part of that standard that's been set here."

The addition of Zeitler may have been a bit of a surprise to many on the outside who expected the Lions to go younger, it was a savvy move for Detroit in the short and long-term.

Kevin Zeitler signing gives Detroit Lions major NFL Draft flexibility

Heading toward April's draft, the Lions already had a lot possibilities with the 29th overall pick. Cornerback doesn't feel as sure-fire there as it did before free agency, and the popular pivot in mock drafts or public opinion has been toward an interior offensive lineman in the first round.

By signing Zeitler, the Lions have fully opened themselves up to take the best player available at No. 29, regardless of side of the ball. Only a few positions can be comfortably ruled out.

Last season, the Lions found success early in the draft by going with the best players on their board regardless of position, striking gold with Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell and Sam LaPorta. This year, with fewer glaring needs, that could be the case again.

The effect of adding Zeitler to an already stacked offensive line figures to be significant for the Lions, perhaps no more so than on their evolving draft plan.


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