Lions head coach Dan Campbell confirms the obvious with Giovanni Manu

It has been obvious from the moment he was drafted, but Dan Campbell has confirmed what's going on for rookie offensive lineman Giovanni Manu.

Around this time a year ago, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker was headed for a "redshirt year" as he rehabbed a torn ACL. Another member of the 2023 draft class, defensive tackle Brodric Martin, also had what amounted to a redshirt year last year.

Giovanni Manu was a late-riser in the pre-draft process this year, with a full schedule of visits in the final days visits were allowed. The Lions traded into the fourth round to get the big offensive tackle out of the University of British Columbia, and there's a chance he eventually becomes a starter at guard.

Manu worked at tackle during rookie minicamp. At this point, there's no sense in pigeonholing him to one position. The jump from a Canadian college to the NFL is a big one. Manu is clearly a developmental prospect, but having the league's best offensive line allows the Lions to give him that runway to develop.

Dan Campbell confirms what Giovanni Manu's rookie season will be

Speaking to reporters before the first day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, via Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports, Campbell talking about Manu and the steep learning curve he's in.

"Yeah, he's swimming. But we expected him to be swimming. We fully expected for this to get worse before it ever gets better." He's trying to find his way. I mean, we're back to the basics of just how you get in stance properly, where your weight goes when you get out of the stance, where your help is, certainly the scheme, the working with others, working with the tight end in this combination, working with the guard, pass and twist. "
"He's just in the infant stages. So we're literally working from the ground up and we knew it was going to be that way....You got to break them down and then and build them back up. And that's what Hank (Fraley) is doing right now."

Ideally, a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations might have traded almost into the top-125 overall (No. 126) for a player who could contribute more this year. When asked if the team expects to "redshirt" Manu, Campbell's answer said everything.

"I would love to say 'hey, we're gonna get him this year, you know, by middle of the season,' and that would be great. And that's always gonna be the goal, is how fast can we get one of these guys contributing and helping us. But we also knew what we were acquiring and so we're prepared to take this as it comes. Whenever he's ready, he's ready. And that's okay, if that doesn't mean it's this year and its next year, that's great. But certainly we're trying to push to get him ready now...."

Manu may become a starter on the Lions' offensive line. The conversation about him being that feels sure to be more prevalent around a year from now. This year will be a "redshirt year" for him, as easily expected the moment he was drafted and now confirmed by Campbell.

4 players Detroit Lions should've drafted at No. 126 instead of Giovanni Manu. 4 players Detroit Lions should've drafted at No. 126 instead of Giovanni Manu. dark. Next