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Lions looking to upgrade at left guard

Could the Detroit Lions be a team on the rise? They have their quarterback of the future in place, a handful of good building blocks like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, and Louis Delmas, a head coach making good decisions, and two very high draft picks (#2 and #34 overall). What the Lions will do or should do in the 2010 Draft has been a matter of speculation. That speculation has gone back and forth here at Mocking the Draft.

But in the past few days, some guesswork has been replaced by a stronger sense of what the Lions will do.

Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz was asked about his team's offensive line at the Scouting Combine. He stated once again that left tackle Jeff Backus deserved some votes for the Pro Bowl last year. He stated his support for center Dominic Raiola and right guard Stephen Peterman.

As for left guard, however, Schwartz all but staked a claim to drafting a new one, or perhaps signing one in free agency. He talked about how three different players rotated in and out of the position during the 2009 season.

At right tackle, Schwartz has the younger Gosder Cherilus. Veteran Jon Jansen is an Unrestricted Free Agent.

Finally, Schwartz expressed concern over what depth the Lions have at offensive line. In Schwartz's first draft, in 2009, the Lions drafted only one offensive lineman, Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska. He is no longer with the team.

While the Lions switched to a zone-blocking scheme in 2008, and I think they are still a zone-blocking team, I haven't seen definitive word that they remain a zone-blocking team.

In conclusion, it appears that the Lions are likely to draft a left guard, and possibly an additional offensive lineman or linemen for depth purposes.

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