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.

We’ve already gone through our share of teams. You can play catch-up right here. Now we are taking a look at our choice for the Detroit Lions.

T Ricky Wagner

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.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for EndZoneScore.com and the founder of ProFootballGuru.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

About The Author

Russell S. Baxter
EndZoneScore (NFL) Lead Columnist

A freelance NFL writer, editor, researcher and analyst for more than 30 years with a background in both television (ESPN)--contributing to shows that won 5 Emmy Awards--as well as radio (both live and voice-over), Baxter is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com. He also writes for NFL Spin Zone, FanSided, Pro Football Spot, Blasting News and The Sports Post. He has written for Bleacher Report, Cold Hard Football Facts, Pro Player Insiders, The Football Girl, ThePostGame.com, NFL Female and more. Baxter has been a steady guest on Yahoo! Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, FOX Sports Radio and also appear on a weekly basis during the NFL season on Patriots Playbook on Patriots.com Radio. Baxter can be heard on numerous other stations and podcasts across the country and all over the world. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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