Matthew Stafford finally has some much-needed help. The Detroit Lions drafted some key players in this year’s draft, including first-round guard Laken Tomlinson. Additionally, the team chose some relief for Stafford on the ground by selecting running back Ameer Abdullah and fullback Michael Burton in the second and fifth rounds respectively.
Speaking out on the selection of Tomlinson, Stafford shared his excitement about the pick (via the team’s official website).
“I was happy. Anytime we add players that can help us win games, I’m all for it. Obviously we were a little thin at the position. And to add a guy that has great character, played great the last two years at Duke, I was fired up.”
The Lions were depleted at the guard position heading into the draft. Now they have Tomlinson and guard Manny Ramierez, the latter of whom Detroit acquired in a trade down with the Denver Broncos to net Tomlinson.
The former Duke standout didn’t allow a single sack in two seasons with the Blue Devils. He should definitely provide some pass protection on a Lions offensive line that allowed Stafford to get sacked 45 times last year.
Ratcheting up the public support of the team’s draft, head coach Jim Caldwell had glowing remarks regarding the two running backs Detroit selected:
“It’s a quarterback’s best friend, plain and simple. It really is. You hear that often. It’s an old term that’s been used for 70, 80 years, but the fact of the matter is, it’s true because it takes some of the pressure off of him.”
Abdullah will join veteran running back Joique Bell, who totaled 860 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Overall, things appear to be looking up for Stafford and the Detroit Lions approaching the upcoming season. Perhaps another visit to the playoffs is in their horizon in 2015.
Photo: USA Today Sports