The Detroit Lions have one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, and it was a joy watching them pave the road for the two-headed monster of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in the backfield. They were also assured in pass protection, and it goes beyond just rookie sensation Larry Warford (well, he would be a sensation if he wasn’t an OL) and grizzled veteran Dominic Raiola on the interior. The Lions tackles also held up very well last year, and there’s a certain UDFA tackle who caught my eye.
LaAdrian Waddle is a 22-year-old Texas Tech product, and he is one of the NFL’s best-kept secrets. A standout in training camp, Waddle’s promising work in the offseason turned into on-field success, as he dominated when he was on the field last year. He’s locked up the starting right tackle gig for the Lions, and I don’t think they should even have a competition there; Waddle is easily locked in as a quality starter in this league and has the potential to be so much more.
So it’s not surprising that Lions GM Martin Mayhew is cool with having Waddle and backup Corey Hilliard as his right tackles going into the 2014 season. He said, via MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, ”I’d feel very comfortable. They both played really good football for us last year. Waddle got hurt with an elbow, and his play kind of ticked down at that point when that happened. But he was playing really good football before that happened. Corey was playing great before he got injured too.”
Hilliard is a nice backup, but it’s clear that Waddle is the top dog at RT.