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2024 NFL Draft preview: 5 interior offensive linemen that could interest Lions

This is a terrific NFL Draft class of offensive linemen both at tackle and along the interior. That's good news for any team looking to bolster that part of their roster later this month.

The Detroit Lions had one of the best offensive lines in football last year and it can be argued they head into 2024 even better with the addition of Pro Bowl veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler.

With Detroit currently sitting at the end of the first round (No. 29) there could be terrific value in selecting one of the best interior offensive linemen late in Day 1.

The Lions have a couple young guards in Kayode Awosika and Colby Sorsdal they like, but they are never afraid to add competition to get the best out of everyone. Detroit also needs to start thinking about the future at center with some of the long-term health concerns Frank Ragnow is dealing with.

Interior offensive line class draft strength: Talent and depth. This class is filled with top-notch interior talent ready to compete for starting spots Day 1 of training camp. There's also a number of hybrid players who can play tackle or guard. Teams love that kind of versatility upfront with gameday roster restrictions.

There are 11 offensive linemen among Daniel Jeremiah's most recent list of the Top 50 players available in this draft. Three of those are interior linemen only but there's a handful of players in the tackle group that will begin their NFL careers playing guard.

Lions interior offensive line depth chart: Ragnow, Zeitler, Graham Glasgow, Awosika, Sorsdal, Netane Muti, Michael Niese.

View photos of the top offensive line prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Lions interior offensive line draft priority: Low. It's not so much a priority for the Lions but rather what provides the most value when they are on the clock late in the first round, if they stay at No. 29. The two deepest position groups in this class are wide receiver and offensive line and it won't be surprising at all if the best player on Lions GM Brad Holmes' board when it's his time on the clock comes from one of those two position groups.

Adding one of the best interior offensive linemen in the class to compete with Zeitler and Glasgow for a starting spot, but also adding top-quality depth and a future plan at center could make a lot of sense for a roster like Detroit that has few weaknesses heading into the draft.

Five interior offensive linemen who could fit the Lions:

1. Graham Barton, Duke

6-5, 313. (Did not bench).

Barton played over 2,665 career snaps at Duke with 39 starts in 40 career games. He began his career as a center in 2020 but played the last three seasons at left tackle. Over the last two seasons, Barton has allowed only four total sacks and 17 pressures. He projects as a center/guard in the NFL but teams are going to like the fact that he has experience at tackle and could hop out there and hold his own in a pinch. He's tough and technically sound, which is a great combo.

2. Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

6-3, 328. (30 reps bench press).

Became the first Duck and the first Pac-12 player ever to win the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center. Powers-Johnson led all FBS centers in overall (84.3) and run-blocking (85.2) grade by Pro Football Focus while ranking second in pass-blocking grade (90.6), allowing just one pressure and zero sacks in 471 pass-blocking reps. He started at all three interior line spots during his Oregon career. His power and ability to anchor really stands out.

3. Zach Frazier, West Virginia

6-3, 313. (30 reps bench press).

Frazier had a team-high 58 knockdown blocks and did not allow a sack last season. He was the top offensive lineman for a West Virginia offensive line that led the Power 5 in rushing yards (2,976). Frazier doesn't have ideal length but does possess a bulldog mentality, especially in the run game.

View photos of NFL prospect Jackson Powers-Johnson.

4. Cooper Beebe, Kansas State

6-3, 322. (20 reps bench press).

The Big 12 Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and finalist for the Outland Trophy (given to the nation's top interior lineman-OL/DL), Beebe started all 13 games at left guard this past season but also started at both tackle spots during his time at Kansas State. He's another hybrid player with position versatility. Beebe is a wide body with a lot of experience who should be able to help a team right away.

5. Zak Zinter, Michigan

6-6, 309. (Did not bench press).

Zinter has NFL size to go along with a nasty mentality and a technically sound game. He was a four-year starter who appeared in 45 games with 42 starts, all but one at right guard. He allowed just three sacks and five quarterback hits over the last three seasons combined. He's coming off a broken leg suffered vs. Ohio State but should be ready to roll for the start of training camp. He's a road grader in the run game.

Sleeper: Christian Haynes, Connecticut

6-3, 317. (25 reps bench press).

A four-year starter at right guard (49 straight starts) and a team captain, Haynes is a really smart football player. He was part of a UConn o-line that allowed just 12 sacks all of last season. He won't wow teams with his athletic traits, but he's technically and fundamentally sound in both the run and pass games.

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