There was a recent article by ESPN's NFC North beat writer Kevin Seifert about the Detroit Lions and what players on their current roster are keepers. Not surprisingly, he could only come up with 7 players. They are (in no specific order) Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Matthew Stafford, Kevin Smith, DeAndre Levy, Louis Delmas and Jason Hanson. He then named another seven worth learning more about. That list included Derrick Williams, Gosder Cherilus, Jeff Backus, Steven Peterman, Aaron Brown, Cliff Avril and Sammie Lee Hill.
So as a Lions fan, I'm basically rooting for a handful of dudes who will be here three seasons from now. Seifert also mentioned some temporary holders for the next two years that could include Larry Foote, Julian Peterson and Philip Buchanan.
It was a tough read. The Lions just do not have that much talent. Even young talent. The good news is that they have quite a few players on this list of 14 from the three most recent drafts including all their #1's (CJ, Stafford, Pettigrew, and Cherilus) although Cherilus is on the worth learning more about list with lower round picks including (Delmas, Derrick Williams, Aaron Brown, Cliff Avril and Sammie Lee Hill.)
I am a bit confused about needing to learn more about Jeff Backus (nickname Turnstile.) This guy has been with the Lions since the start of their historically bad run and I suppose a plan is out there to draft a new left tackle and move Backus to left guard and see how he'll do there. Also, Domenic Raiola is not on the learn more about list and they locked up him up (like Stephen Peterman) to a long-term contract.
In fact the confusing thing about the O-line is how pathetic it can be at times but how they have long-term contracts for the LT, Center and RG and a #1 pick from 2007 with Gosder at RT. So in the near term to improve the line all they really can do is draft a new left tackle and hope those five (new guy, Backus, Raiola, Peterman, Cherilus) gel.