Each NFL season, every team has a player that bears a little added attention. So which performer could turn the corner for the Detroit Lions in ’17?
Welcome to yet another 32-team series from End Zone Score. In recent months, we took the time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers.
Every NFL season features players that come into their own after a slow start to their careers. It’s tough to tell when each performer’s coming-put party will take place. Some are immediate successes. Others take longer due to numerous circumstances, but they prove to be worth the wait. Here we will try and pinpoint a player from each team in the league that we feel is on the verge of putting it altogether.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for a team that did its best to upgrade one of its shakier area. The temporary absence of left tackle Taylor Decker (shoulder surgery) doesn’t have the Detroit Lions feeling great about things as of late. But general manager Bob Quinn did do his due diligence and rebuilt the right side of the offensive line via the free-agent additions of guard T.J. Lang (Green Bay Packers) and tackle Ricky Wagner (Baltimore Ravens).
Over the past four seasons with John Harbaugh’s club, the 2013 fifth-round pick from the University of Wisconsin played n 62-of-46 games. He’s started at least 14 contests each of the past three years. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus currently ranks the former Badgers’ standout as the 18th best tackle in the NFL.
It will be interesting to watch Lang (a Pro Bowler in 2016) and Wagner as a tandem. Perhaps they can aid a running game that over the past three seasons has ranked 28th, 32nd and 30th in the league, respectively. And keep in mind that quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked 37 times this past season.
The Lions traded for Los Angeles Rams tackle/guard Greg Robinson earlier in June as an insurance policy for Decker. But for now, the intrigue regarding the Detroit Lions’ new-look offensive line lies with Ricky Wagner and the right side of this unit.