The Detroit Lions welcomed Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung to the team’s headquarters and practice facility on Monday, marking the first prospect visit this year.
Okung started 47 consecutive games at OSU, earning the starting job as a true freshman before beginning that streak. He is now projected as the top offensive lineman in this year’s NFL Draft.
“I hear (the NFL is) a lot faster of a game, guys are bigger, strong,” said Okung. “But any time you move up a level, you’re going to face challenges and I’m willing to accept them.”
Detroit was the first stop on Okung’s visits to different NFL teams, continuing the long drafting process that began at the end of his senior season.
Okung did not participate in the 2010 Senior Bowl, but he did participate in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, coming away as one of the top performers in the bench press with 38 repetitions.
“It’s kind of long, but you have to find a way to enjoy it and take things as they are,” said Okung of the drafting process.
“I’m not going to say it hasn’t been strenuous, but it’s definitely a blessing to be even considered in this position.”
Okung has his sights on playing football at the professional level and hasn’t been swayed by media trying to avert his attention to different things.
At the combine, Okung was asked whether he was scheduled to meet with any teams that evening.
“As far as I’m concerned, tomorrow we bench press.”
Okung did meet with teams in Indianapolis, however, and the Detroit was one of those teams.
He says they asked him about both football and his personal life and believes he received good feedback from the Lions and the other teams he interviewed with.
“I really wouldn’t say that I got anything that’s specific, but I guess they think I’m a good player and I’m a great guy,” he said.
As for Detroit, Okung was impressed with the team’s facilities, enjoying his time with the coaches and front office personnel.
“(The facilities are) beautiful,” he said. “The visit has been good. Just kind of seeing a little bit of Detroit and getting with the coaches.
“(I’ve been) getting to know a lot of coaches at once and (they are) kind of trying to pick your brain a little bit, but I (have) just been honest with it and it’s been pretty good.”