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2019 training camp preview: Interior offensive line

On the roster: Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow, Kenny Wiggins, Oday Aboushi, Joe Dahl, Leo Koloamatangi, Beau Benzschawel, Luke Bowanko, Micah St. Andrew

Key losses: T.J. Lang

Best competition: Who wins the starting left guard spot?

The competition to replace the retired Lang should heat up right away with the first practice of training camp. Wiggins, who filled in for Lang when Lang was injured last season, played most of the reps at left guard with the first team during the offseason training program this spring.

Aboushi, Dahl, Benzschawel and others will all get an opportunity to unseat Wiggins. We’ll see if tackle Tyrell Crosby is among that group getting some reps inside as well.

Wiggins started 10 games for the Lions last season and has 35 career starts to his credit. He said this offseason his confidence level is the highest it’s ever been entering camp.

Aboushi started eight games for new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Seattle in 2017. He’s made 32 career starts for four different teams.

Dahl added muscle to his frame and lost some body fat this offseason. He was moving around pretty well in the spring. He’s mostly been a backup along the interior his first three seasons in the league.

Benzschawel, an undrafted rookie, was just the third offensive lineman in Wisconsin history to repeat as a first-team All-American, joining Dennis Lick (1974-75) and Joe Thomas (2005-06). His 49 career starts rank as fourth most by an offensive lineman in school history.

View photos of the interior offensive lineman competing for roster spots heading into training camp.

Twentyman’s take: The move from guard to his more natural center position makes a lot of sense for Ragnow. He was the best center in college football as a junior and senior at Arkansas. His strength and intelligence fit the center role.

Glasgow shifts over to the right side at guard. He’s versatile and athletic, and should make an easy transition.

Wiggins has a good opportunity to land a permanent starting role for the Lions in 2019, but he’ll have to earn it camp.

The fact that Aboushi has played for four different teams the last five years and earned starting time with all four shows his ability to adapt and quickly pick up scheme. Aboushi was graded the 30th best guard in football by Pro Football Focus last year playing seven games at right guard for Arizona. Wiggins finished 72nd on that list.

Benzschawel will be an interesting one to watch in camp. He’s got all the measurables and experience necessary to play and play early. His strength coming into the league was his pass blocking. If he shows he can be a force inside in the power rushing game, he can put himself into the mix. Crosby, Dahl, Koloamatangi, Aboushi and Andrew Donnal were the five players from left to right that got the most time with the second-team o-line in the spring, so Benzschawel has some work to do moving up the depth chart.

By the numbers:

8.2: The average number of plays per scoring drive for the Lions' offense last season. Only Jacksonville (9.0) and Baltimore (8.6) averaged more.

20 & 13: The Lions committed 20 offensive holding penalties last season, the seventh fewest in the league. Detroit’s 13 false start penalties were fifth fewest.

41: The Lions allowed 41 sacks in 2018, which tied for 17th.

Quotable: “The transition to left guard was a little more difficult because I hadn’t played it before,” Ragnow said this offseason. “I’ve played center before, so I guess there’s some familiarity there. It’s smoother.”

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