It has always been Matt Patricia's philosophy to build a football team from the ball out. Being strong up the middle on both offense and defense is the first step in roster building for the second year Detroit Lions head coach.
The middle of Detroit's defense has arguably become its biggest strength, anchored by interior defensive linemen Damon Harrison, A'Shawn Robinson and Da'Shawn Hand.
The Lions selected guard Frank Ragnow in the first round last offseason to help solidify the interior of their offensive line alongside center Graham Glasgow and guard T.J. Lang.
Detroit could continue to look to bolster the interior of the offensive line this offseason with Glasgow entering the final year of his contract and Lang's future somewhat in doubt entering the final year of his contract.
Kenny Wiggins, Joe Dahl and Leo Koloamatangi are also on the roster on the interior, and under contract for next season, but all three have played a mostly backup role throughout their careers.
Detroit could be in the market to add interior offensive linemen via free agency and the draft this offseason.
Taking a closer look at the latter, here are some interior offensive line prospects who will try and impress teams at next week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:
Ht/Wt: 6-5, 297
Best trait: Mauler. Williams played right tackle in 2016 and left tackle for the last two seasons for the Tide, but some analysts project him inside in the NFL because he doesn't possess ideal arm length. He's technically sound and especially skilled as a run blocker on multiple levels.
Concern: There will be some concern about his lack of arm length and whether that will affect him at the next level and potentially kick him inside.
Skinny: Williams started 15 games at left tackle, earning recognition as an Outland Trophy finalist. He was a First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC selection. Williams was the heart of Alabama's offensive line, and offers teams position versatility with his experience at tackle and skill set to move inside.
View photos of interior offensive lineman that will participate in the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
School: N.C. State
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 300
Best trait: Steadiness. Bradbury was the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center this past season. There are few holes in Bradbury's game. He's started at both guard and center, and can play in just about any scheme.
Concern: He's slightly undersized for NFL standards.
Skinny: He's a former tight end turned interior offensive lineman, which speaks to the kind of athleticism he possesses. He plays with good strength and technique, and has a chance to help a team on the interior right away.
School: Kansas State
Ht/Wt: 6-5, 300
Best trait: Versatility. Risner began his college career as Kansas State's starting center, and moved to right tackle where he became a consistent All-Big 12 selection.
Concern: His athleticism doesn't jump out, and he has average length.
Skinny: His position flexibility will be a plus in an era where versatility upfront is an asset on an NFL 46-man gameday roster. Risner is strong, and if he can't adjust to the speed on the edge at the NFL level, he should be able to find work inside.
Ht/Wt: 6-4, 337
Best trait: Athleticism. Ford has a rare combination of power and athleticism. He played guard his first two seasons in Norman before moving to right tackle in 2018. He'll get a serious look at tackle because of his athletic traits, but could easily move back inside and be a force there, especially in the run game.
Concern: He doesn't have a ton of experience at tackle, if that's where teams will look for him to play. He'll have to improve his technique there.
Skinny: Ford is a big, strong, powerful blocker, who also offers some position versatility.
School: Boston College
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 307
Best trait: Experience. Lindstrom earned a starting role as a true freshman in 2015 and made 47 starts between guard and right tackle (11) over his four-year career. He possesses terrific athleticism and quickness for an interior guy.
Concern: He doesn't have the frame, length and strength some teams like from their interior guys.
Skinny: He comes from a terrific football family. He has the athleticism and smarts to play guard or center, and maybe even tackle, in a jam. He's a terrific athlete on the interior, and should test well in Indianapolis.
School: Texas A&M
Ht/Wt: 6-4, 315
Best trait: Strength. We talk about the stress athletic edge rushers can put on NFL tackles. What about some of the nose tackles these days with the power and quickness they possess, and how that's making the center position more and more difficult in today's NFL. McCoy is a powerful man at the center position.
Concern: He will have to improve some of his pass pro techniques.
Skinny: McCoy was a starter at center for three years at A&M. He held up nicely against some of the SEC's best interior defenders, and has the kind of experience against high-level competition that should allow him to come in and help a team right away at either guard or center.