Lions add even more beef up front; but where?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

With Nick Cotsonika's report that the Lions have signed OT Ephraim Salaam, there are even more questions about the Lions' offensive line.  The 6'-7", 310-pounder was most recently with the Houston Texans--who made him expendable when they drafted his replacement, Duane Brown, in the first round of the 2008 draft.  Salaam visited back in early April, but didn't make a decision at the time.  The timing of this announcement is interesting; did someone's performance at the OTAs prompt the Lions to give Salaam another call, or were they just waiting for him to make up his mind?

The question becomes, "what happens to Jeff Backus?"  Many were anxious to see the Lions draft an elite franchise left tackle with the #1 overall pick, or possibly the #20 if Michael Oher fell that far; then move Backus to fill the hole at left guard.  Could Salaam displace Backus at left tackle?  Unlikely; Salaam is a journeyman veteran; he's older than Backus and has never been an elite player.  More likely, he's being brought in to compete with George Foster for the backup swing tackle position.

Discuss it here, in The Den!