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O'HARA: Crosby in position to learn multiple roles on o-line

The way the Detroit Lions value rookie offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby after the first week of training camp hasn't changed since they drafted him on April 28.

Crosby was a high-value pick when they took him in the fifth round, and he's been a high-value prospect in training camp with a bright future.

As the players acquired by Bob Quinn through the draft and free agency in three years as general manager seem fitted in place to form the foundation of a solid offensive line, Crosby is in a good position to learn multiple positions and provide depth and support behind the starting five.

Crosby had 19 starts at right tackle and 17 at left tackle in his career at Oregon. Some NFL scouts projected that guard is his best position at the next level.

The Lions do not list Crosby with a specific position on the roster. He's listed as OL – offensive line – and he has practiced at guard and tackle in the Rocket Mortgage training camp. First-round pick Frank Ragnow also is listed as OL, but he has taken almost all of his snaps at left guard, where he is likely to start on opening day, barring an injury.

Crosby is comfortable with his unspecified position. Wherever he lines up, he has an opportunity to learn from the veterans.

"I've got to prove myself and try to get better," Crosby said. "Really, I just line up anywhere the coaches put me.

"Having the vets, and going full speed in camp, it's awesome. You can look at the older guys like Taylor Decker, and learn from them.

"You take each play and learn something. You learn from your mistakes."

Crosby is glad the Lions drafted him at a point when there was no indication they would target an offensive lineman.

"I think it's awesome that they took me," he said.

As Quinn said in his post-draft press conference, they were not looking for an offensive lineman when they took Crosby.

"He was well ahead of everybody else on the board at that time," Quinn said. "We had him graded a lot higher than where we probably took him. We thought the value was just too good to pass up."

View photos from Day 5 of 2018 Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Crosby's ultimate draft position – 153rd overall and the 13th pure offensive tackle drafted – was not in line with pre-draft projections.

On NFL.com, Mike Mayock rated Crosby as the No. 4 tackle prospect, and Daniel Jeremiah rated him No. 42 among all prospects, saying he possessed "all the skills to be a solid, starting right tackle."

Head coach Matt Patricia talked about the vagaries of the draft process, and how they relate to Crosby.

"There are guys you target that you know you really like and that could help fill a need or a position of depth that would be really good," Patricia said. "Or guys that maybe you could take later, that down the road can develop and help your team.

"And then there are the situations where guys either, however the draft goes ... up on the board – that are still there when you come up to pick, and you have a very high grade on them and evaluate them as a really good player.

"And even though the initial need may not be there, it's just hard to pass up. He was definitely one of those guys that we really liked."

Patricia likes Crosby's physical skills and the intangibles that go with them.

"He's big (6-4, 309)," Patricia said. "He's long. He's got really long arms, and he's athletic. And he just loves the game of football."

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