This is yet another brilliant move, in a string of fantastic moves Martin Mayhew has made since becoming the Detroit Lions General Manager a little over a year ago.
Think about the significance of it. The Lions only spending a 5th round pick to obtain both a top rated guard in the NFL. This is the closest thing to a slam dunk Detroit has made, trade-wise in a long time (except for Roy Williams for your 1st, 3rd and 5th round picks, thank you very much Jerry Jones).
Sims was statistically the 8th best Guard in the NFL last year. The best guard the Detroit Lions had last year was Stephen Peterman, ranking 13th last year. Unfortunately for Detroit, Peterman was injured season and missed several games. When he was gone, the whole line failed again and again.
Many people blamed Jeff Backus for last year's failings on the offensive line, but he actually played very well last year. By no means the best in the NFL, but not far from the top 10, and better than any Left Tackle in the NFC north, that's for sure.
Now that the Lions have taken Sims, I think it's safe to say that Jeff Backus will keep the starting left tackle position. They wouldn't be taking a guy like Sims to play left guard if they had any intention of moving Backus inside. If Peterman can stay healthy this year, the offensive line will look like this next fall:
J. Bakus (LT) R. Sims (LG) D. Raiola (C) S. Peterman (RG) G. Cherilus (RT)
With this line, the weak link would be right tackle. Cherilus has a lot of expectations on his shoulders this year. Having been a 1st round draft pick (17th overall), he should be performing better than his ranking as the 39th best tackle in the NFL. If he can't pick up the slack this year, he may be the biggest offensive tackle bust in recent years.
The coaches have big hopes for him though, and if he can play up to the level of his talent, the Detroit Lions O-Line should be quite solid in 2010. The Lions could still use another guard for the right side given the fact that they were injury prone. Don't be shocked to see the Lions look for another guard in the middle rounds of the draft to go opposite Sims on the right side.
Martin Mayhew is proving to be a very solid General Manager for the Detroit Lions, making one savvy move after another. Of course we won't know how well these plans come together until the fall, but as of right now Mayhew looks like a genius to me.
Anyone think he could be doing any better right now than he is?