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Lions have unique situation with three OL in draft class

The Detroit Lions just might have gotten a glimpse into 3/5 of their offensive line of the future at last week's rookie minicamp.

After selecting Taylor Decker (first round), Graham Glasgow (third) and Joe Dahl (fifth), the team got to see them line up at tackle, center and guard together over the three-day minicamp.

There's still a lot of competition that has to play out before starting positions are determined, and there's a good chance one or more of those players begin their career as a backup, but taking three offensive lineman in the first five rounds of the draft allows all three the opportunity to come in and grow together.

"I do think there's a great group of guys, talented group of (rookie lineman)," Decker said Tuesday. "But obviously, again, we haven't done anything in this league, and there's no guarantees or promises. So just work on getting better every single day."

The Lions return all five starters upfront from last season, but it's a unit that had an up-and-down 2015 campaign. They played much better after Jim Bob Cooter took over as offensive coordinator and Ron Prince as offensive line coach midseason, but it was still a unit that had a hand in 44 Matthew Stafford sacks and blocked for the league's worst ranked rushing attack.

It was clear from the start of free agency, and then as the draft progressed, improving the depth and competition along the offensive line was a big priority for general manager Bob Quinn.

He signed veteran guard Geoff Schwartz in free agency, and then used three of his first five picks on Decker, Glasgow and Dahl.

Decker, a three-year starter at tackle for Ohio State, will play both right and left tackle initially, as the team tries to find the best fit for him.

Glasgow, who was considered one of the top five center prospects in the draft, is a big body at 6-foot-6, 308 pounds, and is expected to challenge incumbent Travis Swanson for the starting center spot.

Dahl can play either guard or tackle, where he started the last two years at Washington State, but is projected to play more guard in the NFL.

"I think it's going to be really good for our development," Glasgow said of coming to Detroit with fellow rookie draft picks Decker and Dahl. "I mean, we're really able to bounce ideas off each other and concepts and plays.

"We've really been hitting it off and going to dinner. We're all here just trying to get better and learn our assignments."

Right now it's all about learning the scheme and getting better as individuals so maybe one day they make up 60 percent of Detroit's offensive line.

"I really like the group of guys that I got to come in with," Decker said. "So I'm excited to go forward and keep working with him."

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