Five reasons the Detroit Lions’ trade of Laken Tomlinson makes sense

Former first-round pick was likely to be cut

It just makes sense that the Lion traded guard Laken Tomlinson to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick today.

Tomlinson started 10 games in 2016, the last four at right guard due to injuries on the line. He was at left guard for the first five games and then was switched to right guard in Week 6.

Here are five reasons why it was a good move:

1. The former first-round pick was likely to be cut on Saturday when the 53-man rosters are due. This way at least the team gets something instead of nothing.

2. Yes, he was a first-round pick (2015 out of Duke), but he was drafted by former Lions GM Martin Mayhew. Believe me, it would have been a little tougher to trade him if Bob Quinn had drafted him, although Quinn still might have done it. Some people say drafting first-round picks is easy. Tomlinson is evidence to the contrary.

3. Mayhew is currently a senior personnel executive with the 49ers. Obviously he still thinks Tomlinson is an NFL-caliber player. We will see if he survives the 49ers’ cuts.

4. The writing was on the wall when Tomlinson, who had started at left guard as a rookie, was benched for rookie Graham Glasgow after five games in 2016. That said it all. It also let the players know that coach Jim Caldwell and his gang do not care what round you are drafted in, the best players will be on the field.

5. It’s likely Glasgow again will start at left guard. Joe Dahl should be active on Sundays because he can back up at guard, center and, in a pinch, at tackle. Dahl has played in just six regular season NFL games with no starts, but obviously the coaches have confidence in him. There was no reason for the Lions to keep Tomlinson if he wasn’t going to be active on game days. They only keep seven offensive linemen active for games including one backup tackle.


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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