Lions didn't draft Jason Fox with the intent of seeing him on field this season

ALLEN PARK - The Detroit Lions didn't draft Miami offensive tackle Jason Fox in the fourth round this year with the intention of seeing him much on the field this season.

Fox was drafted because the Lions for, oh, about the last 10 years, have done a poor job of replenishing the offensive line with young players. Jeff Backus remains solid at left tackle and Gosder Cherilus (with some possible help from Jon Jansen) should take care of the right tackle spot.

The Lions hope Fox can develop into a solid player who might either eventually take over for Backus (who is going into 10th season) or, if Cherilus continues to struggle, pressure for a starting spot on the right side.

How soon that might happen is up to both Cherilus and Fox.

For now, with Cherilus and Jansen splitting reps at right tackle, Fox is getting the majority of his work on the left side. That's expected to change in training camp when Fox should get more work on the right.

Fox is a good athlete with good footwork and has the ability to kick-out wide in pass protection (but that will also have to improve to be effective at this level).

The biggest challenge for Fox will be on the isolation running plays when he has to explode off the line and dominate. While he has a solid frame at 6-6 and 314 pounds, he needs to get stronger and develop greater explosion off the line.

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