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Barry Sanders weighs in on McShay mock

12/22/2011

Kyle of Quad Cities pointed me in the direction of an interesting Twitter exchange between Detroit Lions Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders and the Detroit Free Press, all of which was started by Todd McShay's initial ESPN.com mock draft for 2012Insider.

As we noted, McShay drafted Virginia Tech running back David Wilson for the Lions at No. 25 overall. Wilson would be the third highly drafted running back for the Lions in as many years, but significant injuries to Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure make it a plausible scenario.

After the Free Press pointed out the pick, Sanders tweeted back: "will they ever take an O - Lineman???"

Sanders added: "I am sort of biased... but would help [quarterback Matthew Stafford] and [receiver Calvin Johnson] too. to be fair, @DetroitLionsNFL recent drafts have been solid"

The Lions have largely left their offensive line untouched during a three-year rebuilding process that has gutted the rest of the roster. The only starter added since the start of the 2009 season is left guard Rob Sims, acquired in an April 2010 trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

At some point, the Lions will need to begin plotting a succession plan for left tackle Jeff Backus, whose contract expires after this season. Center Dominic Raiola turns 33 later this month but plays a position that typically hosts aging players well. But I would agree they had more pressing needs than offensive line in recent years.