OL Rumors: Tunsil, Decker, Seahawks

Despite being selected at No. 13 overall, Laremy Tunsil is slotted at a foreign position to him. The Dolphins are currently planning to station the Ole Miss left tackle at left guard, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

A three-year starter with the Rebels exclusively at left tackle, Tunsil told media (including Jackson) he has never played guard but expressed willingness to line up anywhere on the Fins’ front. Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James remain as the Dolphins’ tackles, leaving Tunsil to join Billy Turner on Miami’s first unit at guard. With Albert, James and Mike Pouncey in the fold, guard has been a troublesome spot for the Dolphins recently.

Pro Football Focus graded the Dolphins as the league’s No. 31 line, ahead of only the injury-ravaged Chargers, with former starting guard Dallas Thomas receiving the site’s worst marks among its starters. PFF graded Miami as the league’s worst run-blocking line last season.

Here’s more on Tunsil and the latest from the respective offensive fronts around the league.

  • New offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen categorized Tunsil as the best lineman in the draft and was stunned he fell to Miami’s draft slot. “The further he dropped, I started feeling myself get a little knot in my stomach. I’m going, ‘Ah, don’t get your hopes up. You know better than to do that. There’s five places to go,'” Christensen told media, including Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “And even when it was one spot away, I was going, ‘Somebody is trading up. Do not let yourself get your hopes up. You’ve done this before. It’s no fun. You’ll be disappointed.’ When it did happen, I couldn’t believe it did happen.”
  • Although some expected the Lions to place Taylor Decker at right tackle considering 2012 first-rounder Riley Reiff has started on the left side for the past three seasons, the Ohio State blocker will begin his Detroit tenure at left tackle, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Jim Caldwell did not specify the team’s plans for its first-rounder, but Decker lined up at that position during Saturday’s minicamp workout. Decker started 28 games at left tackle for the Buckeyes during the 2014-15 seasons but played right tackle as a sophomore. Birkett writes that Reiff’s future in Detroit could be tied to Decker’s ability to handle left tackle. Set to play this season on his fifth-year option, Reiff will be a free agent in 2017. Beyond Reiff, the Lions employ Michael Ola and 2015 seventh-rounder Corey Robinson. However, the team signed Geoff Schwartz to a modest accord in the offseason, and although he’s coming off two injury-prone seasons with the Giants, Schwartz has been a quality player at guard and right tackle when healthy. He may make the most sense to play right tackle if Detroit deems Decker its left tackle.
  • The Seahawks are planning to slide Justin Britt from guard to center, Tom Cable told media — including Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN (Twitter link). Primarily a left tackle in college at Missouri, Britt will have now moved from right tackle to guard to center in his three seasons in the league if this transition sticks. Britt rated as PFF’s seventh-worst full-time guard last season.
  • Seattle’s staff plans to begin Germain Ifedi‘s career at right guard, with the Texas A&M tackle’s next spot potentially being right tackle, according to an Associated Press report. The Raiders’ starting right guard for all 16 games last season, J’Marcus Webb is expected to return to tackle, where he began his NFL career with the Bears.
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