Taylor Decker, OT
School: Ohio State | Conference: BIG-10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 315 lbs
Projected: 1st Round | Actual: 1st Round (Pick 16) by the Detroit Lions
Taylor Decker has ideal size, strength, athleticism, toughness, and grit to be a franchise left tackle. He's a massive guy who is strong enough to put defenders on their butts while run blocking and stonewall pass rushers off the edge. He plays with good technique and has a devastating initial punch. He is so athletic for such a big guy and can get to the second level. He may have the best ability to control and redirect defenders than any other OT in this draft class. Decker was the 2015 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the year beating out other potential 1st round tackles Jack Conklin and Jason Spriggs.
Lions appear to be sticking with Taylor Decker at left tackle, for now: https://t.co/Mme2WVDX2A— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) July 28, 2016
Get to know #Lions rookie tackle Taylor Decker: https://t.co/FNibF6ZrK0 pic.twitter.com/1bPckSjiQm— Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 20, 2016
The #Lions have a retooled offensive line. But will it make a difference? https://t.co/aKPil5k8My— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 22, 2016
How He Makes the Lions Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
Decker was the 4th offensive tackle taken in this years past draft after Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin, and Leremy Tunsil respectively. He rounded out the first “tier” of offensive tackles if you will in this past draft due to his well-rounded skill set in pass protection and run blocking. Decker has a little bit of mean to him and he could present a few problems to Preston Smith coming off the edge. We all know Preston is very talented and will probably best Decker at some point but Decker will win his share of matchups when the teams meet in week 7 due to his sound technique and ability to adjust to speed off the edge.
Coach Jim Caldwell says Decker could play both tackles spots but right now Decker has performed well enough to be penciled in as the starter at left tackle for the Lions. The Lions are hoping for a much improved offensive line with Decker as a key piece of its performance in 2016.