Jonah Jackson calls 2022 NFL season a year of proof for Detroit Lions offensive line

The Detroit Lions will enter the 2022 season with the offensive line as one of the key strengths on the roster.

This was also the case heading into the 2021 campaign. However, the O line never got a chance to play the full year together, due to the injury bug that surfaced.

Most notably, starting center Frank Ragnow and starting left tackle Taylor Decker both played less than 10 games a year ago and haven’t played a single game together. Ragnow only played four games due to a toe injury, while Decker adapted in just nine games due to a spiral fracture in his left index finger.

Throughout this time, the offensive line has always performed at a high level.

Rookie Penei Sewell played both right and left tackle and allowed just five sacks all season. He was also named to the All-Rookie Teams of Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Writers of America.

Meanwhile, Jonah Jackson, in his second season as a pro, played 16 games (mostly at left guard) and earned a 69.8 overall rating from Pro Football Focus (good for 22nd out of 82 qualified guards ). Additionally, for his efforts, the Ohio State product was named a Pro Bowl substitute.

With all the talent back in play, Jackson thinks it’s “a year of proof” for the unit.

“I’m really excited about what this year has in store for us, what we’re going to bring to the table,” Jackson told reporters during his pre-draft session on Thursday. “It’s been a year of proof as hopefully we all stay healthy and can bring the full lineup in tandem and get to work.”

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Despite all the success he’s had in 2021, Jackson knows there are areas in his game he can improve heading into the 2022 campaign.

“From my sets to pro pass to my run blocking, just going over little things, tightening aiming points and landmarks and all that. But it’s a constant work in progress,” said Jackson. “That’s all I try to tweak and improve. Watch a movie and see what I did right, and see what I did wrong and see where my feet went wrong and where My hand placement went wrong. Just fix this thing and be more consistent.”

Much like Jackson, Ragnow is excited about the prospect of the entire offensive line being healthy for the coming season. In fact, the Pro Bowl center told reporters Thursday he thinks the unit can be “really good” if they stay healthy.

“It’s obviously on us, and it’s really where we want to take ourselves and how hard we want to push ourselves,” Ragnow said. “I think if you pay attention to the talent and just look at the guys on the other side of the line we can be, I mean they were really good last year too. So I would like help them and boost everything. And, I think if we all go there and gel and stay healthy, I think we can be a pretty good O line. But, we have to take it one day at a time, and the sky is the limit there.

With the return of Ragnow and Jackson, the Lions have two offensive linemen who were once Pro Bowlers.

Sewell could be on the verge of becoming a Pro Bowler himself, entering his second season in the league. And, Decker, despite never having been named to a Pro Bowl since being drafted by Detroit in 2016, has become one of the NFL’s top left tackles.

For Ragnow, however, as nice as being named to a Pro Bowl is, it’s not always the best measure of a player’s level of achievement.

“I think Taylor Decker is an amazing player. I think ‘Big V’ (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) is an amazing player, and I think, don’t get me wrong, I think the Pro Bowl vote is such a blessing and a blessing. dream come true But there are a lot of good players in this league who were never considered for the Pro Bowl,” Ragnow said. “So I think that’s what’s cool about this group is that every guy is, I like to say, ‘a dude’. And, it’s just cool how every guy can flash , and we just have to stay consistent and really put it all together, hopefully.”

Consistency is the name of the game, and establishing more of that from a team-wide perspective will be key as the Lions take the next step in their rebuild in 2022.

Charles P. Patton