Indianapolis — Lions general manager Martin Mayhew explained Friday he likes Riley Reiff as a player, calling him “solid” and saying he held his own against some top-tier pass rushers as a left tackle the last two seasons.
However, Reiff’s performance the last two years has not cemented his status as the starting left tackle moving forward.
“We’ll see how the offseason goes,” Mayhew said. “I wouldn’t say he’s locked in at left, he could probably play right, too. We’ll see how things go.”
Any decision to move Reiff to another position would be made by the coaching staff, Mayhew said. But some people in the organization are not convinced he’s a long-term solution at left tackle and that he could move to a different spot.
The Lions could move Reiff to right tackle if they find an upgrade in free agency or the draft. The team considered drafting Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan this year and will again look at first-round options at the spot.
If the Lions don’t add a starting-caliber tackle, they could also consider Cornelius Lucas or LaAdrian Waddle moving from right tackle to left. Both players were left tackles in college, and Lucas has said he’s more comfortable on the left side in part because he’s left-handed. Both players joined the Lions after going undrafted, Waddle in 2013 and Lucas in 2014.
Many people have also speculated that Reiff could move to guard, but he has shown promise as a tackle since taking over as the starter in his second season after the Lions drafted him 23rd overall in 2012.
“I think he’s a good player,” Mayhew said. “I think he was that for us. He was pretty solid out there at left tackle. It’s obviously a pretty critical position. He obviously sees some really talented guys week in and week out. He won his share of those battles. I like Riley. He’s a good player, solid.”