(ALLEN PARK, MI) – The Detroit Lions have selected G Laken Tomlinson with their first-round pick, 28th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Lions acquired the 28th pick via a trade with the Denver Broncos for the 23rd slot. The team also acquired G/C Manny Ramirez, a 2015 fifth-round pick, 143rd, and a 2016 fifth-round pick in exchange for the Lions’ original first-round pick.
Detroit Lions Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Martin Mayhew and Head Coach Jim Caldwell met with the media following the team’s first-round draft selection. Afterwards, Tomlinson was available to media via conference call.
“Very excited to have Laken Tomlinson and Manny Ramirez joining us,” said Mayhew. “The trade with Manny is contingent on a physical and he should be arriving tomorrow to take that physical. But both of those guys will be contributors for us I believe and really help our offensive line.”
Caldwell believes the two players can fit into the team immediately and help the offensive line.
“We do have two quality guys that we picked up here this evening. They should give us some help on the interior of our line,” said Caldwell. “They are very versatile guys and guys with some thickness and girth. They are also guys that are very smart. One of the things you will find out about Laken, after you talk to Coach Cutcliffe about him, is that his intangibles are off the charts. He is one of those guys that has done a tremendous job and elevated himself from some difficult circumstances.”
With the addition of Tomlinson and Ramirez, Caldwell thinks the offensive line has been improved greatly. The proof will be in a live game situation.
“I certainly feel good about our depth. We have improved there but we are also encouraged of what they bring physically,” he said. “We don’t win any games at this time of year. You put yourself in better position, but this is the process. We will see how quickly they can adjust and how quickly they can adapt.”
Tomlinson is happy to have been selected and is looking forward to playing with G Larry Wardford.
“I’m excited to play with him. Obviously, I’ve done my research on him,” Tomlinson said. “There’s similarities in our games with the physicality and our technique and our feet, I think those are the most similar in our game. Just the opportunity to practice with a player that you’ve researched and I’ve looked up so much to, it’s just amazing.”
Being selected by Detroit 28th overall has meant that Tomlinson has put his future career on hold, for the time being.
“When my football career is over, and I don’t think that is anytime soon, I want go to medical school,” he said. “My end goal would be to be a neurosurgeon. That is my interest right now.”