Who will replace former Detroit Lions‘ offensive guard, T.J. Lang?
That is a question many have been asking ever since Lang announced he was retiring from football.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Lions' general manager Bob Quinn would either sign an established free agent guard or at least draft a player who could fill in for Lang, but it's now mid May and neither of those things have happened.
But there is one player who could swoop in and steal the right guard job.
That player is Beau Benzschawel.
Benzschawel, who played his college ball at Wisconsin, went undrafted despite being the best run-blocker in college football, according to Pro Football Focus. He signed with the Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent following the draft, despite 2/3 of the NFL teams wanted his services.
On Wednesday, former Lions' offensive lineman Jon Jansen told 97.1 The Ticket that he would not be surprised if Benzschawel is the starting RG come Week 1.
From 97.1 The Ticket:
“I would be surprised if he’s not active as one of the six or seven guys that they have on the roster in Week 1, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if he’s starting,” Jansen told 97.1 The Ticket.
“The one thing that will separate good offensive linemen from average guys is the way they use their hands. He does a great job of staying in balance, moving his hands, not letting them get slapped down, and if they get slapped down he replaces them. And I like the way he moves laterally. At the guard position that’s really what you need, is a guy that moves left and right. He’s not going to be sitting back a whole lot, so it’s his ability to move laterally and keep keep his base.
“When you look, he is of the mold of almost every offensive linemen you see come from Wisconsin. Technically sound, uses his hands well, moves his feet well, is in great position, has good balance, and when he strikes somebody you can tell that there's something behind the punch.”
Jansen noted that Benzschawel's strength is run blocking, which is an area the Lions will focus on in 2019.
“When he comes off, you watch defensive linemen and you see their heads snap back. That’s what you gotta have,” Jansen said. “If you're blocking defensive linemen in the NFL and you don’t get that initial snap, it's really hard to get them moving, and he does that. He's got a great initial punch.”
“I wish he was just a little bit faster,” Janses added, “but I'll take technique over speed any time.”
If Benzchawel can come in and take the RG job, it would end up being one of the biggest offseason additions for the Lions.