Sean Locklear is a very atypical right tackle who could flourish in the offense that the Detroit Lions seem to be trying to build. Unlike most of his peers, he is a below average run blocker but a top pass protector. Although this is not what is traditionally targeted on the right side of the offensive line, it may just work in Detroit.
The Seahawks are looking to implement a more run heavy offense in 2011 and with sophomore Russell Okung on the left side Locklear will never start there. Further sealing Locklear's fate, the Seahawks are in negotiations with Tyson Clabo, the Atlanta Falcons run grading right tackle. For these reasons, Locklear will not be dealt with immediately by his team, and that means he will listen to other offers.
The reason why this could be a great move is the issues with the Lions offensive line. I have written enough about this, but I believe that the Lions could do with two more good offensive tackles. While Jeff Backus can hold his own against lesser pass rushers, his recent injury makes improving the depth at tackle even more pressing. Also, on the right side, Gosder Cherlius has never really made good on his gifts, and would do with some real competition to force him to work harder. He could even make the move inside to right guard where he could get by better without great technique and rely on his physical gifts.
The Lions have a pass dominant offense and despite the drafting of Mikel Leshoure that is unlikely to change. This is true because of the return of Matthew Stafford and the plethora of receiving weapons that GM Martin Mayhew has amassed. This means that the Lions should target offensive linemen who are better at pass protection like Locklear.
Locklear was ranked the best right tackle in the league last year in pass protection and at 30 years old has a few good years left before his play starts to decline. His technique is decent, and he is very athletic and good at blocking in space. He also has enough length and strength to deal with long armed multi-dimensional pass rushers.
He is not a good run blocker, but this is mainly because of his bad technique which leaves him in a position of bad leverage most of the time. At 30 this is unlikely to improve much, but on a bad run blocking line it should not be as noticeable as on the Seahawks line. Also, he is not going to be much worse than Cherlius in this regard.
An extra wrinkle is Locklear's ability to cover and maybe even play left tackle. Before Seattle drafted Okung he played left tackle in 2009 and showed enough promise to indicate that he could replace Backus at left tackle if he performs in training camp.