The Detroit Lions have assembled an offensive line that has the potential to be the strength of the team for the foreseeable future.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes stated at his season-ending media session that he viewed the offensive and defensive lines the current strengths of the team.
While many pundits and draft analysts have the Lions targeting a defensive lineman with the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Holmes and Co. could go in a different direction.
While Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux are talented draft prospects, they are not currently viewed as impactful at the next level as a player the caliber of Nick Bosa.
Meanwhile, one draft prospect who has skyrocketed up many draft boards is offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu out of N.C. State.
He could be off the board before Detroit even has a chance to select him, but he is a prospect that has all the tools to be a solid contributor for many years.
According to SI's NFL Draft Bible, "He is very competitive, looking to finish defenders and successfully doing so. Ekwonu creates knockback and deals out body blows with his initial strike. Heavy hands allow him to enforce his will on opponents. When he has good positioning, he displays great grip strength. Ekwonu is quick out of his stance and has the foot speed to mirror laterally at guard. His anchor is strong to absorb power before he gets his hands inside and takes the initiative. Understanding leverage, he works to win it and seal off run lanes."
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With Detroit's offense wanting to focus on the run moving forward, adding a talented lineman could solidify the unit for the next several seasons.
The current talk is that he may have to transition to playing at guard. However, he also has the potential of being a dominant tackle.
Holmes and Detroit's front office could decide to part ways with Halapoulivaati Vaitai to save salary-cap space and insert Ekwonu into Vatai's spot to play alongside right tackle Penei Sewell.
If Detroit wanted to experiment, guard Jonah Jackson could move over to the right side, to allow Ekwonu to play next to left tackle Taylor Decker.
While addressing the defense should be a priority, adding another lineman could be just what the Lions need to aid quarterback Jared Goff in staying upright.
Pay close attention to the pre-draft workouts, as Detroit may surprise some with the prospects it has in the mix with the No. 2 pick.