Who is the Detroit Lions’ most irreplaceable player?

SideLion Report

CBS Sports has made a list of a non-quarterback each NFL team can’t afford to lose, so who is the most irreplaceable member of the Detroit Lions?

The Detroit Lions are building a solid core of young players, on both sides of the ball, with some focus on the trenches (Penei Sewell, Aidan Hutchinson, etc.). The final piece of a winning equation will be a long-term quarterback, assuming it isn’t Jared Goff after he has a huge 2022 season.

Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports has made a list of one non-quarterback each NFL team can’t afford to lose during the 2022 season. The position group the most irreplaceable Detroit Lion comes from isn’t surprising, but the player might be?

Lions: OT Penei Sewell

Center Frank Ragnow is a solid alternative, though Detroit managed without him for all but four games in 2021. Sewell, meanwhile, offers versatility as a left/right tackle tasked with keeping QB Jared Goff comfortable in the pocket. You might be tempted to go defense here, considering they need all the help they can get, but Goff requires a cozy setup more than most.

Youth is served in naming Penei Sewell the player the Lions can’t afford to lose

Benjamin acknowledged center Frank Ragnow as a solid alternative. But as noted, the Lions managed without him for 13-plus games last season. Evan Brown can’t totally replace Ragnow on a talent level, but how good he was filling in last year was a pleasant surprise.

As we know and was noted, Sewell played right and left tackle as a rookie last season–switching from right to left on short notice when Taylor Decker was injured heading into Week 1. Then he moved back to the right side when Decker was ready midseason.

Sewell will turn 22 in October, so he likely has a very long career ahead of him playing a premium position. Not that Ragnow is old (26) or going anywhere for awhile himself. It’s just that Sewell’s youth and the position he plays gave him the edge as the most irreplaceable Detroit Lion. That’s what the list anointed for each team, and it’s hard to disagree with Sewell being the guy for the Lions heading into the 2022 season.

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