Decker ecstatic reuniting with Buckeyes linemate Farris

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Lions made Taylor Decker their highest draft pick a couple weeks ago. Then, two days later, they made Chase Farris their highest-priority rookie free agent.

And Decker is glad to have his offensive line partner from Ohio State — and roommate during pre-draft training — with him in Detroit.

“I just think he’s a really tough player,” Decker said of Farris on Tuesday. “I think he’s a good athlete and everything. I think he could be a good football player, but again, just like with all of us, we’re rookies coming in, haven’t played a snap in this league. We have a lot to learn and a lot to get better at.”

No one should be penciling Farris into the starting lineup. In addition to having a few established starters on the offensive line, the Lions drafted three more offensive linemen, including Decker. To make the team, Farris faces a steep uphill battle, but with the Lions giving him $20,000 guaranteed — a $10,000 signing bonus and a $10,000 portion of his 2016 salary — scouts clearly think highly of him.

Plus, Farris worked out with Decker in Arizona during the pre-draft process, receiving training from former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley at a facility in which Lions right guard Larry Warford has trained for a few years. When the Lions signed Farris as an undrafted rookie, Decker said he received a text from his Ohio State teammate “immediately.”

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“Happy for him,” Decker said. “Happy that I get to continue playing with him because he’s one of my really good friends.”

Farris started at right tackle for Ohio State in 2015, but he’ll likely move to guard in the NFL. He joined the Buckeyes initially as a defensive lineman, so there’s reason to expect improvement as he continues to learn how to play on the offensive side.

Even though the Lions added Decker and Farris this offseason, the team is hardly being overrun with Buckeyes. By drafting center Graham Glasgow and quarterback Jake Rudock, the Lions still have an equal number of Michigan and Ohio State players. And believe it or not, the rivals are getting along.

“Graham’s probably one of my favorite people that I met at the combine,” Decker said. “we just clicked."

Twitter: @jkatzenstein