The Lions continue to sign free-agents with the recent acquisitions of former New England running back Stevan Ridley and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. In early April, it’s still hard to predict what their roles on the team will be, or in Ridley’s case, if he will make the team.
Ridley is a power back, about six foot tall and 225lbs. Quinn is likely bringing him in to compete for the power-back role with last off-season’s fan favorite Zach Zenner. Zenner played well for the Lions, but a rib injury in week 6 ended his season prematurely. Ridley could also compete for the 4th running back spot with George Winn, but in my opinion he will need to show the coaches that he will have enough in-game value to warrant a roster spot since he brings no special teams value.
A seventh round draft pick in 2008, Geoff Schwartz has made a nice career for himself so far, however he remains one of those “he would be an above-average starter, IF he could stay healthy” kind of guys. Schwartz is extremely active in the media, tweeting frequently and even hosting his own podcast called ‘Block em’ Up’. At 6’6” 340 and with the Tomlinson-Warford combo seemingly set in stone for the 2016 season, it was initially assumed that Schwartz would move to right tackle, where has played before in his NFL career.
“Not so fast”, said Bob Quinn.
“He’s primarily a guard, first and foremost. He has played right tackle in the past,” Quinn said at a season ticket holders meeting last Thursday at Ford Field. “He’s a veteran offensive lineman who has started a lot of games, and I feel really strong about his ability to come in and improve our depth.”
It’s what he’s been saying all off-season, building depth, building depth, building depth. I’m going to sit back and see his philosophy through, but with this offensive line, before depth can be built, there needs to be starters.
If the Lions don’t address the tackle spot early in the draft, don’t be surprised if Schwartz ends up at right tackle the second Quinn sees Michael Ola play in person.