All of a sudden, the Detroit Lions have a log jam along the offensive front. The recent signings of OT Greg Robinson and OT Cyrus Kouandjio will make things interesting when it comes time to cut down to the final 53-man roster.
Someone is going to be the odd-man out…but who?
Here is how the current O-line depth chart for the Lions:
— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) June 16, 2017
Out of all the players listed, there is usually nine roster spots dedicated to O-linemen. You could presume that OT Taylor Decker will start on the PUP. Guys like undrafted free agents Storm Norton and Leo Koloamatangi could be stashed on the practice squad.
Is there a substantial role for OG Laken Tomlinson on the team?
Going into his third season, Tomlinson appears to have permanently lost his job as the starting left guard to second-year player Graham Glasgow. At best, Tomlinson can be a nice swing player, maybe even kick some old habits and become a starter down the road.
Not going to lie, the latter seems unlikely after routinely producing sub-par performances.
But, with that glimmer of hope comes the belief there is still potential. Potential sells. Like Greg Robinson and Kouandjio, sometimes some new scenery is the best thing for a floundering youngster.
Based on the type of lineman GM Bob Quinn covets, Tomlinson does not fit the bill. All of the guys Quinn has brought in are significantly more athletic than Tomlinson. The 323-pounder from Duke was drafted to be a power, phone-booth guard. In OC Jim Bob Cooter‘s offense, that type of play is not a high priority. Let’s not forget, Quinn was not the one to draft Tomlinson either, there may not be a ton of allegiance.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 17, 2017
With the addition of Greg Robinson, Tomlinson also may be expendable. Robinson played a little guard while with the Rams–it might even be his more natural position. The possibility is there for him to bump inside once Decker returns. If that is the case, both Robinson and Dahl provide much more versatility and better schematic fits than Tomlinson. A team doesn’t need three reserve interior lineman.
Long story short, I believe that what we have seen from Tomlinson so far is what he truly is. There will not be some sort of huge overnight improvement. Currently, Tomlinson is a fringe NFL player that you can often find in the free agency pool. The longer the Lions sit on him, the more his value and number of suitors precipitously decline. Why not strike while the iron is lukewarm instead of ice cold?
If not now, at least before the trade deadline and a roster move must be made to make room for Decker. Again, you run the risk of Tomlinson’s value decreasing with more exposure.
If you happen to be in the camp that thinks he will turn it around, then I understand keeping him for the future. I just would rather cut our losses and get a return while we can, especially when there are other players on the roster with a better skill set for our offense.
What do you think should be done with Tomlinson?