Position: Left tackle
Ht/Wt: 6-7, 318
College: Ohio State
Experience: 4th season
Outlook: Decker enters his fourth season manning the left tackle spot for the Lions. The team picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract this offseason.
Decker’s been the starting left tackle from Day 1 after Detroit selected him in the first round of the 2016 draft. He played all 16 games his rookie year, and all 16 games last year. He missed half of the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury, but he’s been pretty reliable his first three seasons in the league.
Decker made the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie team in 2016 before the shoulder injury set him back in 2017.
Decker was graded the 19th best left tackle by Pro Football Focus last season. He was credited with allowing just three sacks, but his 30 quarterback hurries were the 12th most among all tackles.
Decker said the shoulder injury is completely behind him, and he’s expecting a big season in year four.
View photos of tackle Taylor Decker from Day 14 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.
Practice report: Decker was in his usual left tackle spot Sunday in what was a padded practice ahead of Monday’s day off for the players.
In 1-on-1 pass-rush drills against the defensive line and edge rushers, Decker had a terrific rep against defensive end Romeo Okwara. Okwara tried to go wide on Decker. Decker did a nice job of getting his feet in good position, locking on to Okwara, anchoring down and keeping him in front of him.
Decker had a real nice backside block on Okwara in a team period where the offense was backed up by its goal line. It turned into a nice run for the offense, and got them some breathing room.
Later in practice in a different team drill, there looked to be some miscommunication between Decker, left guard Joe Dahl and tight end T.J. Hockenson, who was lined up in-line outside of Decker, because no one picked up Okwara on one play and he was able to get into the backfield and flush quarterback David Fales out of the pocket, disrupting the play. Those are the kinds of things that hopefully get ironed out in training camp.
Overall, Decker looked pretty good in Sunday’s practice.
Quotable: “Just be able to come out here, goof around with my friends pre-practice, and just be able to enjoy being out here and just focus on football,” Decker said of being completely over the shoulder injury heading in 2019.
“Just being able to go out there and play and not having to worry about anything else. That’s huge. Peace of mind, I guess.”