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Five Things To Know About Tackle Cornelius Lucas

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The Redskins added depth along the offensive line with the signing of Cornelius Lucas, the team officially announced March 27.

Lucas, who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Lions in 2014, has also spent time with the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.

Here are five things to know about the 28-year-old tackle:

1. Lucas is one of the tallest players in the NFL.

Among active players last season, three were 6-foot-9 and 18 were 6-foot-8, according to Pro Football Reference. Lucas is listed at 6-foot-8 and 327 pounds, making him one of the tallest and biggest players in the NFL.

Lucas is the tallest player on the Redskins' roster, as he has an inch on defensive lineman Ryan Bee and two inches on several others. He's also the second-heaviest behind fellow tackle Morgan Moses, who has him beat by three pounds.

Even with his massive frame, Lucas has flashed his athleticism throughout his NFL career.

2. This is his fifth franchise in seven years.

Lucas, a New Orleans native, played college football at Kansas State before signing with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played in 15 games (three starts) in each of his first two seasons but only made five appearances in 2016. The Lions released him just before the start of the 2017 campaign.

Over the next two years, Lucas started one game each for the Los Angeles Rams (2017) and New Orleans Saints (2018).

In January of 2019, he found a new home with the Chicago Bears, where he played some of the best football of his professional career.

3. He started as many games in 2019 as he did his first five seasons combined.

About 45 minutes before the Bears played the Redskins on Monday Night Football in September, offensive line coach Harry Hiestan gave Lucas some surprising news: the usual starter, Bobby Massie, was unable to play because of vertigo, and Lucas was filling in for him. It marked Lucas' third start over the past four seasons.

Going up against perennial Pro Bowl edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan, Lucas performed so well that he earned the Bears' "Sweep the Sheds" award, which was "given after every win to a player who is not too big to do the little things," according to the team's website.

"One guy I thought that played great was Cornelius Lucas," offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. "That was a total surprise to everybody, and nobody blinked. He's going against their best player all night. That was a huge bright spot for that group and just our team in general."

Lucas went on to start eight times in 2019, matching the total of his previous five seasons combined, and played in all 16 games for the first time in his career.

4. He was named the Bears' most improved player.

Not only did Lucas play significantly more last season than he had in previous years, but he more than held his own along the Bears' offensive line.

For his efforts, Lucas was named the Bears' most improved player in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished the year with an overall grade of 72.2, the first time in his career he graded above 65.0.

5. He can play either tackle position.

Lucas has never been seen as a full-time starter, but as it stands, he could assume that role for the Redskins in 2020.

Lucas started six games at right tackle last season and two at left tackle, and while Morgan Moses seems to have right tackle locked up, the other position remains wide open.

Trent Williams is by far the best option, but it's appears more and more likely that he will not be playing for the Redskins in 2020. Williams' replacement last season, Donald Penn, is currently a 36-year-old free agent, while 2018 third-round pick Geron Christian Sr. has shown little to suggest he'd be a viable option.

Even if Lucas does not end up starting, he provides Washington with a swing tackle who has shown he can step in and excel when necessary.

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