This year’s draft class is heavy with starting-caliber offensive linemen, particularly at the tackle position.
“Both of those guys have played well at different times,” he said. “Jeff had a really solid season last year. He’s got 160 straight starts and has just been very reliable over the last couple of years and has been very consistent.
“Gos made a big step this year in his development. He was a much more consistent player and got better with his technique, better with his feet, better with his hands.”
Detroit’s 2010 offensive line made significant improvement, giving up just 27 sacks (tied for sixth in the NFL) compared to 45 the previous year.
Much of that had to do with consistency from Backus and depth behind Cherilus. Cherilus suffered a knee injury and was placed on Injured/Reserve with four games remaining.
“Behind him we have Corey Hilliard, we have Jason Fox, both of those guys are young developmental guys with talent,” said Mayhew. “(But) I wouldn’t say that we wouldn’t take a tackle (at 13) because we have Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard.”
Detroit Lions fans showed interest in many of the top offensive linemen at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine including:
T Nate Solder, Colorado
At 6-8, 319 pounds, Solder addresses his ability to get low as an offensive tackle.
“I think the worry of being a taller guy is not being able to bend,” he said. “The thing I’ve done to counteract that is to show I can bend, work on stay on staying bent. Now, the advantages are you’ve got a lot bigger wingspan and it’s a lot harder to run around you.”
T Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
Began at a junior college because, at 6-7 and 220 pounds coming out of high school, he was a “talk drink of water.” He weighed in at 311 at the combine.
“My main goal is to show my athleticism,” Castonzo said of his combine workouts. “Show that I can move fluidly. I think sinking of the hips is an important thing. That shows in the drills. I like to show the scouts I’m able to do that.”
T Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
At 6-5 and 321 pounds, Sherrod is one of the bigger offensive linemen at this year’s combine.
As far as where he believes he fits in with this deep offensive line class, he says he fits in at the top.
“I’m very much a very physical, competitive, intelligent offensive tackle that can come in right away and help out whatever organization that I’m with,” said Sherrod. “I plan on going in right away and help out as much as possible.”
T Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Carimi and Castonzo are the two tallest offensive linemen in this year’s combine class at 6-7. Carimi edges out Castanzo in the weight department at 314.
After four years in a pro style offense at Wisconsin, Carimi would like to start at the left tackle position, but would be okay to start on the right.
“Obviously, I think I can play left tackle. It’s up to the organization what their needs and wants are,” said Carimi. “If (the team that drafts me has) a left tackle locked down, I’ll be a backup at left tackle.”
G Rodney Hudson, Florida State
Standing at 6-2, Hudson weighed in at 299 pounds on Thursday. Gaining weight, he said, was something coaches had advised him to do.
“A lot of people wanted me to gain weight and get bigger,” he said. “I did that. I weighed at 291 at the Senior Bowl and I played this season at 285, 288.”
C/G Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State
Wisniewski played both guard and center in college; most recently guard. When asked which he is better at, the 6-3, 313-pound lineman said he really wasn’t sure.
“I think I excelled at guard this year and at center the year before,” he said. “Some teams would look at me and think I’d be a better center, some would think I’d be a better guard. I’ll just be excited to go out there.”
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