2022 position breakdown: Offensive line

The Good: The offensive line was arguably the most talented and consistent position group all season long.

The Lions finished the 2022 season fourth in scoring, fourth in total offense, seventh in passing and 11th in rushing. Detroit ended the year with the second fewest sacks allowed (23) in the league, just one behind Tampa Bay (22).

Detroit scored 30-or-more points in eight games this season, the most in the NFL and a new franchise record. They also rushed for 2,179 yards (128.2 per game), and running back Jamaal Williams had his first career 1,000-yard season and broke Barry Sanders' franchise record of 16 touchdowns in a single season by notching 17.

Detroit's starting five of left tackle Taylor Decker, left guard Jonah Jackson, center Frank Ragnow, right guard Evan Brown and right tackle Penei Sewell were widely considered one of the best offensive lines in football along with the Philadelphia Eagles OL. Sewell and Decker were alternates for the Pro Bowl. Ragnow was named to his second Pro Bowl.

Consider this, all but Brown are under contract for next season, but he was only a starter because Halapoulivaati Vaitai injured his back in the preseason and missed the entire year. Vaitai is under contract for next season.

This is a tough and durable group that's pretty versatile scheme-wise in their capabilities. Ragnow is one of the best centers in the league, Sewell is trending toward superstardom and Decker and Jackson are always top 10 at their respective positions.

The offensive line is the strength of this football team, and it's expected to be for the foreseeable future.

View photos for the Detroit Lions offensive linemen from the 2022 NFL season.

The bad: Not much to talk about here.

There was a five-game stretch from Weeks 11-15 where the Lions rushed for at least 100 yards in just one contest. This has been a run-first team all season and that was a tough stretch offensively, despite the fact they still won four of those five games, thanks to quarterback Jared Goff and the passing game.

Penalties were also a bit of an issue at times. This doesn't pertain to just the offensive line, but the Lions were called for 25 offensive holding penalties this season, the second most in the NFL. That accounted for 246 lost yards.

Key stat: The Lions threw for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for more than 2,000 yards in the same season for the first time in franchise history. Their 54 touchdowns scored are the second most in team history.

Free agents: Center/guard Evan Brown (unrestricted), tackle/guard Dan Skipper (unrestricted), tackle Matt Nelson (restricted), guard Ross Pierschbacher (restricted) and guard Tommy Kraemer (exclusive rights).

Brown is the biggest name in the group. He's proven over the last two years he can play both center and guard at a pretty high level. He's expected to garner some interest around the league. Kraemer missed all season with a back injury, but showed in 2021 he could play at a pretty consistent level. I'd expect him back and in the mix if he's healthy as an exclusive rights player.

Draft: The Lions are set at tackle with Decker and Sewell, but Lions GM Brad Holmes could look to address their depth at the position with Nelson and Skipper heading toward free agency.

The more likely scenario in play, however, is the Lions look to add a young interior lineman to the mix to compete for playing time at right guard. O'Cyrus Torrence (Florida), Luke Wypler (Ohio State), Andrew Vorhees (USC), John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota), Emil Ekiyor Jr. (Alabama) and Cooper Beebe (Kansas State) are names to start thinking about in Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

MVP: I thought Sewell really announced his presence to the rest of the league as one of the premier right tackles in the game in only his second season. Sewell is so good and so athletic, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson schemed plays around his talents. He's pound for pound the most athletic player on the Lions roster.

Sewell allowed two sacks and six quarterback hits in 17 games this season. If they listed all the pancake blocks accumulated by offensive linemen, Sewell would likely lead the list. He was the fourth highest graded right tackle by Pro Football Focus this season.

Most improved: Brown. I say this because we knew Brown was a pretty darn good center having to come in and start 12 games for the injured Ragnow last season. He'd made spot starts at guard in the past, but was asked to start the entire season at right guard, no easy task. He gave up two sacks and four quarterback hits in 13 games. He missed four games due to an ankle injury. He showed he can play all three positions at a starting caliber.

Quotable: "I think we can be as good as anything out there," Sewell said of the future of the Lions o-line. "I can see it in everybody's eyes the way we approach each and every day."

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