Dominic Raiola is aging, going into his age 36 season, and he looked done as recently as 2010-2011, when he graded out below average on Pro Football Focus in both seasons, including 5th worst among centers in 2010. However, he’s put together back-to-back strong seasons on an overall strong Detroit offensive line over the past two seasons, grading out 13th and 2nd among centers in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
At his age, he doesn’t have much time left, but he could easily have another strong season left in the tank, so credit the Lions for keeping him at a very reasonable rate (1.5 million over 1 season) and ensuring that center not become a pressing need heading into the draft. They can now focus on other positions early and look for a developmental successor for Raiola in the mid to late rounds. This was a smart move for the Lions.