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Rookie Mahogany working to become a contributor on Lions' o-line

It just so happened No. 73 was available for rookie guard Christian Mahogany after the previous owner of the number, Jonah Jackson, left in free agency to sign with the Los Angeles Rams.

Mahogany has worn No. 73 dating back to high school because it was the number of his favorite player growing – Hall of Fame guard Larry Allen.

"It's really big for me," Mahogany said of being able to retain his high school and college number after the first day of rookie minicamp last week. "I wore 73 since I was in high school. I fell in love with Larry Allen and his tape. My dad was a Cowboys fan, so I started watching a lot of Larry Allen. He plays like how I want to play."

Mahogany said he tries to embody Allen every time he puts on the number. Allen was an athletic freak at 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, and is considered to be the most powerful offensive lineman to ever play the game.

Mahogany isn't quite the same athlete at 6-foot-3, 319 pounds, but he does play the game with a nastiness and an edge. He was one of the top blockers in the ACC last season. Boston College ran a lot of short-yardage run plays behind Mahogany at right guard, which says a lot about the type of game he's bringing to Detroit.

"It's hard to say I model my game after Larry Allen. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Mahogany admitted. "But I try to emulate it any way I can. Just how he plays, his mentality, who he is as a man and a football player."

Mahogany said he also watches Trey Smith (Chiefs) and Quinn Meinerz (Broncos), two hard-nosed right guards currently in the league. That's what Mahogany hopes to bring to the table – a toughness and an edge. That would certainly align with the mentality currently in Detroit's offensive line room.

"He plays like a bouncer outside of a club, looking to bash heads with power and forceful hands," Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote of Mahogany.

View photos from offseason workouts on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

The Lions return one of the best offensive lines in football with starting guards Kevin Zeitler and Graham Glasgow. Detroit's also got some capable backups inside with starting experience in Kayode Awosika and Colby Sorsdal. It's not a matter of if injuries are going to happen but when, and Mahogany is looking to put himself in a situation where he can contribute if needed.

"Getting back into your fundamentals and technique and what coach (Hank) Fraley wants to preach and coach (Ben) Johnson," Mahogany said. "All the things that they want to do here that's what you have to come in and be ready to do and that's my role. Right now, I'm just coming in and learning and being a sponge. I'm just soaking it all in as we speak."

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