Hank Fraley enters his fifth season with the Lions and his third as the team's offensive line coach. He originally began his time with the club as the assistant offensive line coach.
In 2021, the Lions added T Penei Sewell with the 7th overall pick of the NFL Draft, marking the second offensive lineman (C Frank Ragnow) the team had selected in the first round since Fraley coached the position in 2018. Additionally under Fraley's leadership, the offensive line adapted to several injuries throughout the season.
After an injury knocked T Taylor Decker out for the first eight games in 2021, Fraley was instrumental in helping Sewell adjust and start the team's first eight games at left tackle. In Week 1 vs. San Francisco, Sewell became the youngest player in NFL history to start a game at left tackle (20 years and 202 days). Upon Decker's return, Sewell completed his rookie season with success playing the second half of the season at right tackle for the offense. Sewell only allowed 5.0 sacks on the season and only 2.0 over the final 12 games he played in 2021.
After also losing Ragnow for the last 13 games of the season, Fraley was significant in preparing C Evan Brown to step in and start 12 games at center for the Lions in 2021, while G Jonah Jackson also made the Pro Bowl as an alternate. The effectiveness of the offensive line unit could be seen each week, as the Lions became the second team in the NFL in 2021 with the most offensive plays with a sixth offensive lineman. Behind Fraley's offensive line, the Lions became the only team in 2021 to have nine players record a rush of 20-or-more yards. The last NFL team to accomplish the feat prior to 2021 was the 1984 Chicago Bears.
Fraley's coaching resume includes experience coaching the offensive line at both the NCAA and NFL levels. In 2020, Fraley guided OL Frank Ragnow to his first Pro Bowl appearance. Ragnow was not responsible for allowing a sack in 2020, did not commit a false start, and only had two penalties in 14 games.
In the 2019 season, the O-line assisted four different running backs accumulate at least 200 rushing yards on the season, which was an NFL-high. In Week 7 of 2018, Detroit's offensive line went on to help put together a season-best 248 rushing yards at the Miami Dolphins, their most in a game since 1997.
Prior to coming to Detroit in 2018, he served as the offensive line coach at UCLA in 2017. He entered the NFL coaching ranks when he was named the assistant offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, where he worked for three seasons (2014-16). While assisting with the offensive line, Fraley helped the unit produce one of the NFL's top rushing attacks in 2015.
With an offense featuring RB Adrian Peterson, the Vikings offensive line paved the way for Peterson to rush for an NFL-leading 1,485 yards in 2015, while the team finished fourth in overall rushing that season. Minnesota's offensive line finished the 2015 season as the only NFL team to have the same starting offensive line in all 16 games.
Prior to joining the Vikings, Fraley served as the offensive line coach at San Jose State in 2013. He began his coaching career in 2012 when he was named the offensive line coach at the University of San Diego.
A former lineman himself, Fraley played 11 seasons in the NFL after entering the League as an undrafted free agent in 2000 out of Robert Morris. He went on to play with the Philadelphia Eagles (2000-05), Cleveland Browns (2006-09) and St. Louis Rams (2010). As a mainstay along the offensive line, he helped Philadelphia win four-consecutive NFC East titles between 2001-04 and reach four-consecutive NFC title games. The Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX against New England following the 2004 season.
A standout athlete at Robert Morris, Fraley was an All-Northeastern Conference selection from 1997-99, helping his teams win conference titles each season. He had his No. 75 retired by the school in 2001 and became the first Robert Morris alum to play in the Super Bowl. He was enshrined in the school's Hall of Fame in 2006 and honored by the Northeast Conference in 2010.
Fraley and his wife, Danielle, have four sons, Trent, Mason, Travis and Beau, and one daughter, Scarlett.