Lions sign All-XFL center Alex Mollette to bolster interior OL depth

After losing Ross Pierschbacher to an injury, the Detroit Lions have signed All-XFL center Alex Mollette.
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Last week, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talked about the value of the USFL and XFL as pipelines to find talent as the team has clearly tapped into them.

" I think it’s development. To be able to play and then find this talent and bring them in? And now let’s see if they can play at this level against this comp. I think it’s huge. It’s big. ‘Cause ultimately, you can try to develop, you can do all these things, but if you can’t play the game and get reps after reps of real-time games, it’s hard to accelerate it."

Dan Campbell

After backup center Ross Pierschbacher suffered an injury in the preseason opener against the New York Giants, and he was released with an injury settlement on Sunday amid some other roster moves, there was an open spot on the roster.

According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston, the Lions are signing center Alex Mollette after a successful workout.

Mollette played for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL this spring, earning All-XFL honors as the Roughnecks had the second-best rushing attack in the league. Pro Football Focus grades XFL players, and Mollette was their highest-graded center (74.6) with an exemplary grade in pass protection (86.2).

Mollette spent time with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted rookie in 2022, and he did not make their roster. He had a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year.

Detroit Lions roster: Alex Mollette sneaky candidate to make it?

Mollette started games in five different seasons at Marshall, with a total of 46 starts between center and guard. According to PFF he did not allow a sack in his college career, and in 2021 he earned top-10 pass blocking grade from them (82.8).

Depth behind the Lions' five starting offensive lineman is a broad concern, and a lingering toe issue is an added layer with center Frank Ragnow. Mollette was the choice over former USFL center Jake Lacina, who the Lions recently worked out as well, to come in and compete for a roster spot.

Next. Detroit Lions 53-man roster projection after preseason Week 1. Detroit Lions 53-man roster projection after preseason Week 1. dark