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Prince: All 3 guys responding to competition at center

There's no better competition along the Detroit Lions' offensive line than at the center position.

Travis Swanson, Gabe Ikard and rookie third-round draft pick Graham Glasgow are in a tight competition a week into training camp for not just the starting spot, but the pecking order after that.

"I feel all three players are going to get better and I think whoever emerges out of it is going to have their game at a higher level than maybe anyone anticipated," offensive line coach Ron Prince told

As it stands right now, Swanson, the incumbent starter from a season ago, is ahead, but it's a close competition with four preseason games and a month more of practice still to go.

"Travis is the guy who's got the experience," Prince said. "He's the guy who's been in the huddle. He's the guy that's been there working with Matt (Stafford). He knows a lot of the defensive looks and calls. Because of that, you have to say he has a little bit of a leg or lead on these guys, but the other two guys are very talented.

"If they have the same number of reps. If they get the same exposures. Will they show the things he shows? It's absolutely a great competition and all three guys are responding.

"I'm really pleased with how that's going. As we get closer we'll have to make a decision."

In drafting Glasgow, the Lions felt they needed to push that group through competition to make it stronger -- see who would rise up. In the process, they're also building depth at the position, which is sometimes rare in this league.

"There's competition on the board everywhere," Swanson said. "It's going to be like that year in and year out. The only thing that this group can control -- the individuals in it -- is what you can control. That's our mindset."

It's one competition to keep a close eye on over the next month because it could really go one of three different ways.

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