Lions looking for left tackle of future

Posted Jan. 21, 2011 @ 8:21 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Jeff Backus has taken something of an unfair beating in and around Detroit for not being a premier left tackle at the age of 33, but he has been a solid, steady performer, having started the past 160 consecutive games. Yes, the Lions use tight ends to help him against top pass rushers, slant the line protection his way and Backus did allow the sack that initially knocked QB Matthew Stafford out of the lineup this past season. But there are worse starting left tackles in the NFL, no question. How long that will remain the case, however, is up for serious debate. The Lions must find their future left tackle very soon to groom for the day that Backus is ready to be moved aside. Although this year's draft class might be a bit lean in terms of surefire OLT prospects, there are some middle-grade performers available who could interest the Lions if they don't want to take one with the No. 13 pick in the draft. Last year's fourth-rounder, Jason Fox, still needs to put on weight and has yet to show he's that guy, but he does offer some promise.