Detroit Might Be Reinvesting In One Part Of Their Offensive Line In 2018.
While the last two installments of this series have been focused on the defensive line with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and defensive end Ziggy Ansah, now it is time to flip sides and look at the offensive line, specifically the starting center, Travis Swanson.
Swanson has had an interesting ride while in Detroit. Starting out as a backup behind Dominic Raiola, Swanson was seen as the future in 2014. He started in five games, but 2015 was his chance to show what he could do. He struggled and many wondered if he was the right guy.
2016 came around and Swanson looked like a different player, someone the Lions should hold onto at the position. Then in 2017, things were turned around once again, and 2015 Swanson came back and made people question why he was in Detroit.
The Writing Is On The Wall For Travis Swanson
With his questionable play, injuries occurring, and others able to play the position better, Swanson isn’t likely to return in 2018. Swanson has had back to back season ending injuries, both concussions. His difference in play over the past three years shows how inconsistent Swanson is.
Back in 2016, Detroit drafted guard/center Graham Glasgow from Michigan. Glasgow was seen more as a guard than a center in Detroit, but with his versatility, he could be the backup center as well. With Laken Tomlinson out at left guard, Glasgow took over and while he was the worst offensive lineman in 2016, and odds are he would be again in 2017, that wasn’t the case.
While Swanson did only allow one sack and got three penalties this season, while Glasgow got four penalties and allowed three sacks, Glasgow was the better player overall. He was in the top 5 centers according to PFF in back to back weeks and has shown progress from his rookie season.
— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) November 17, 2017
Re-Sign Or Rebuild Travis Swanson?
Rebuild. Detroit already has his replacement in Glasgow and he was the only starting offensive lineman this season to not miss a start. Glasgow doesn’t have the concussion and injury issues like Swanson, and his play is consistent, unlike Swanson.
Detroit will most likely stick with Glasgow as their starting center for next season, but if they want to possibly explore the option of free agent centers, two names to keep an eye out for are Evan Smith from Tampa Bay and Ryan Jensen from Baltimore.
If Bob Quinn wants to go crazy come draft day, they could draft Billy Price from Ohio State in the first or second round, but if they want a later pick for depth purposes or maybe they believe he could start day one, Mason Cole from Michigan is another good choice. The good thing about both players is that they are expendable. Price can play center and guard, while Cole can play center and tackle.