ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions had to pick up protection for quarterback Matthew Stafford. It was an obvious need from the start of the 2015 season, and after free agency came without a tackle added it became even more of a priority. So the Lions' selection of Taylor Decker from Ohio State is no surprise.
My take: This was the safe, smart pick by general manager Bob Quinn. Decker gives the Lions an immediate starter on the offensive line, probably at right tackle, to start his career. He'll improve Detroit's running game immediately -- he was a ferocious run-blocker at Ohio State -- and could end up as the Lions' left tackle as early as 2017 with Riley Reiff entering the final year of his contract. While Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack were intriguing options and should also be good players, Detroit found a good one in Decker and also solved a big-need position in the process. He's the first Ohio State offensive tackle taken in the first round since Orlando Pace in 1997. A bonus for the Lions is potential early continuity on the offensive line since Decker has worked out with offensive line guru LeCharles Bentley -- the same trainer Detroit right guard Larry Warford uses. The two could end up playing next to each other this season.
Lions had options: With the way the draft board fell, the Lions had a bunch of other ways they could have gone and Lawson, Jack or Jarran Reed as the pick would have been too much of a surprise. But considering how fast Detroit handed in its card at No. 16, it was obvious Decker was the target all along. Decker played 54 games for Ohio State and helped block for Ezekiel Elliott in 2015, when the Buckeyes averaged 245.2 yards per game. He was an All-American and the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Tunsil slide could have been interesting: The most intriguing storyline of the first round was if Laremy Tunsil was going to potentially slide to No. 16, giving first-time general manager Bob Quinn an interesting decision with his first pick in Detroit. He didn't have to make that decision, though, as Tunsil ended up going to Miami at No. 13 -- to the same team where Ndamukong Suh now plays. Quinn has been big on character -- he called Robert Nkemdiche a red-flag player during his pre-draft news conference last week -- so it would have been a pretty interesting call. But it was not a decision Quinn ended up having to make.
What's next: As of now, the Lions are scheduled to pick at No. 46 on Friday night in the second round. Then the franchise will wait until almost the end of the third round, when they can use No. 95 -- the pick received for Suh's departure last offseason. Detroit picked Ameer Abdullah in the second round last season and Alex Carter in the third round. Figure the Lions to look in the secondary, the defensive line and potentially at wide receiver with their picks Friday night.