Upgrading Right Guard before Draft No Easy Task
The Lions have been very active over the past week in free agency.
Despite general manager Bob Quinn's best efforts, the Lions downgraded at right guard -- the spot on the line previously designated for Graham Glasgow.
Glasgow went to the Denver Broncos on a big four-year, $44 million contract -- which was well deserved.
The Lions' top backup option to Glasgow a year ago was Kenny Wiggins.
Wiggins also is a free agent, but has yet to sign anywhere.
Overall, right guard may be the biggest hole on the entire Lions roster.
Quinn recently re-signed Oday Aboushi to a one-year deal, and brought in 2016 first-round bust Joshua Garnett after he sat out the 2019 season.
The only other realistic possibility for a starter that is currently on the roster is 2019 undrafted free agent Beau Benzschawel.
Benzschawel had a nice college career, but has some flaws that make his transition to the next level a little difficult.
In all of Benzschawel's preseason action -- his only offensive snaps of the season -- he was graded as the Lions' lowest-ranked player of their 15 graded linemen, per Pro Football Focus.
So, that leaves the Lions with three players that don't exactly inspire a ton of confidence.
It would be great if one could put it all together and have a really nice season.
However, it probably also isn't wise to expect it without some sort of fallback option.
Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of major upgrades on the open market.
Below you will find some of the top remaining offensive guards:
Well, some of those players may be recognizable, and all of those guards would probably be an upgrade for the Lions. Yet, none of those names are really anything to get excited about.
Although it seems very unlikely, recent free-agent signing Halapoulivaati Vaitai could potentially move inside to guard -- if the Lions were to go after an offensive tackle in the draft.
Vaitai has played almost his entire career at tackle, and the Lions paid him "tackle" money.
However, the Philadelphia Eagles did cross-train Vaitai a little bit in an effort to make him more versatile.
Make no mistake, though, the offensive tackle draft class is a strong one this year.
If the Lions do want to trade down from No. 3 -- despite all of their needs -- the high value of a talented tackle could be difficult to pass up.
Needless to say, if the Lions want to actually improve their right guard situation, their best option is to take a gamble in the first few rounds of the NFL Draft.