Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn acknowledge the offensive line as the strongest unit at various times this offseason.
And in the eyes of one writer, they’ll finish the season as one of the league’s best.
Last Thursday, PFN released their rankings for the NFL’s best offensive lines heading into the 2021 season. And according to them, the Lions rank 17th-best offense. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“The Detroit Lions offensive line has the potential to finish the 2021 season as one of the best in the NFL. Adding Penei Sewell to Taylor Decker at left tackle can be the best tackle combination in the league. Combine that with Frank Ragnow at center, and the framework is there for the Lions to be a formidable group up front. Ragnow and Decker combined for a total of 15 blown blocks over 1,800 snaps. Sewell’s transition to right tackle could see him struggle at times in 2021.”
“The guard position is where the question marks really come. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was credited with eight sacks and a 3.9% blown block rate last season. However, he took snaps at both guard and tackle in 2020. With the ability to settle at guard and remain there, we could see Vaitai develop significantly in 2021. At left guard, Jonah Jackson produced a solid rookie season. If he can develop in 2021, this line could be near the top of the offensive line rankings after the 2021 season.”
Well, isn’t this quite the delightful prediction?
If the Detroit Lions finish the season with one of the league’s top offensive lines, that should mean several things. Firstly, that should mean Jared Goff will be one league’s least-sacked quarterbacks. For Lions’ quarterbacks, this will be something new.
In three of the past four seasons, former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was top-ten in most-sacked QBs. Stafford ranked 7th in this category last season. Goff, on the other hand, was 15th.
Secondly, if the Lions have one of the league’s top offensive lines, hopefully, that means the offense is clicking. On paper, Goff doesn’t have a great unit of wide receivers. If provided with the proper protection, though, he should be able to pick defenders apart and “create” a star out of the Lions wideout core. He’s already building quite the rapport with T.J. Hockenson, something on display through minicamp. A top O-Line bodes well for the promising back in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams preparing for a breakout season.
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