Taylor Decker says he would welcome Lions drafting offensive line help
While there are still more questions than answers when it comes to what the Detroit Lions will do in the first round of the NFL Draft, there's a growing belief the team would embrace the opportunity to add an offensive lineman in the first round, particularly Oregon's Penei Sewell if he makes it to No. 7, where the Lions are scheduled to select.
For Lions left tackle and team captain Taylor Decker, that's music to his ears.
"I mean I'm all for adding anybody that can help the team win," Decker said during a video call with reporters on Tuesday. "Take a lineman in the first round. A couple years after me, they took Frank (Ragnow). Frank turns out to be an All-Pro, Pro Bowl guy. He's one of my best friends. Take all the linemen in the draft. I love it because I'm an offensive lineman and I see a lot of value in that position.
"If we can add talent at any position, wherever it may be, let's do it," Decker said. "Obviously, I don't follow the draft. I don't know a lot of the college players. I mean, I watch Ohio State and that's about it. But I know there's talented guys and whoever the organization deems can be a help and add value to the team, I'm all for it."
When evaluating the Lions' roster, most observers will agree the offensive line is the team's best position group. Decker, who signed a contract extension last offseason, is coming off the best year of his career, while Ragnow earned Pro Bowl honors in 2020. The rest of the group — Jonah Jackson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tyrell Crosby — are all talented and young, with the biggest concern being the durability of the right side manned by Vaitai and Crosby last year.
It's easy to argue Sewell or Northwestern's Rashawn Slater could offer an immediate upgrade to the starting five and some long-term stability given Crosby is entering the final year of his contract.
As Decker noted, he doesn't really know the specifics of the offensive line prospects available, preferring to lean on the judgment of general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell in the draft.
But Decker did offer his support for another prospect who could be in play for the Lions at pick No. 7; Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields, once viewed as the No. 2 player in this class, has seemingly found his stock slipping leading up the draft as outside observers and anonymous NFL decision-makers have picked apart his game. At this stage, there's a realistic possibility he'll be the fifth quarterback selected on Thursday.
"Well, I don't know any of the flak he's taken because I'm not following mock drafts," Decker said. "From when I've seen the guy, he's a playmaker. You watch the big-time games he played in — not that I'm a quarterbacks expert, so this is not the Holy Bible of draft analysis — but it seems like the guy can make a lot of throws.
"I know he had his pro day and I watched some of the highlights because I follow the Ohio State social media accounts and it looks like he was putting some on a dime deep down the field on the move," Decker said. "I know he ran well. I didn't play with him, personally, but I know some guys and they seem to like him. The huge thing about being a quarterback, you're going to run the show, but you've got to be able to relate to your teammates and your teammates gotta like you. ...That's what I've heard."