2012 NFL Draft Recap: Where Will Riley Reiff Fit in on the Detroit Lions?

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

The Lions had to be ecstatic when Riley Reiff dropped to them in the first. While the line isn't in bad shape, Reiff is an athletic tackle who instantly makes it better. (You can check out my take on him in the above video as well)

Reiff took an interesting journey to make it to the Lions—from tight end to defensive tackle to offensive line. He's had the chance to walk on both sides of the line and has played guard as well as tackle.

Versatility is always a plus.

One thing I noticed a lot when watching Reiff was how he was able to get leverage on defenders whether he was pass blocking or run blocking. He gets under the defender which allows him to manipulate the guy however Reiff wants. He can move them outside, delay them, or clear them from a hole.

It all starts with that leverage. Reiff does have some footwork issues, and when his footwork goes south, he gets beat. Of course, as with quarterbacks, so much of the game comes from footwork that the more consistent he gets, the better everything else will get.

On occasion I've seen him not complete a block—in other words, not so much quit on a play as reacting as if it was over. i want to see him play through the whistle more often and make sure his guy is finished.

It's really a small thing though and his overall athleticism and skill are outstanding as is.

Expect Reiff to start out on the right side while he polishes his game and gets used to the pro level, but within a year or so (if not sooner) he'll be watching Matt Stafford's left side full time.