It’s not a big surprise, but Pro Football Focus has ranked the Detroit Lions among the best offensive lines in the NFL.
Not one, not two, but three first-round picks. A Pro Bowler from last year who is not among that aforementioned trio. A fifth member who, while certainly a little overpaid, had a rebound season in 2021. Yep, the Detroit Lions are in good shape along their offensive line. And they’re in line to stay that way for awhile.
Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus has tabbed the top-five offensive lines in the NFL. The Lions came in No. 3, behind only the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns.
As has been said in this space plenty of times, the Lions never had their projected starting five offensive lineman together at the same time last season. Not a single snap. By the time left tackle Taylor Decker was back from a late preseason finger injury in Week 9, center Frank Ragnow had already been out a few games (and placed on IR) with a toe injury. Ultimately, all five missed at least one game.
PFF’s praise of Detroit Lions offensive line not surprising
Pro Football Focus recently ranked Ragnow as a top-five center in the league. Decker and Penei Sewell have been ranked as top-25 offensive tackles by the site, as one of few tackle pairs from the same team ranked that highly. Left guard Jonah Jackson (the previously mentioned Pro Bowler, in his second season last year) and right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai round out the unit.
If there’s an upgrade to be made anytime real soon for the Detroit offensive line, it would be to get younger and cheaper at right guard to replace Vaitai.
The root of the Lions’ offensive success in 2022 will be up front, with one of the best lines in the league capably protecting Jared Goff and opening holes for D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.