Taylor Decker certainly looks the part.

The 6-foot-8, 315-pounder possesses the prototypical height, weight and length which make him an ideal candidate to play offensive tackle in the NFL. His athleticism and strength are what have helped him have success in that role.

But according to those who work closely with him, it’s the intangibles that set Decker apart. It’s his intrinsic drive, the will to achieve greatness that’s allowed him to smoothly make the difficult transition from college to the professional ranks, starting at left tackle from day one for the Detroit Lions and more than holding his own where few prove capable so quickly.

“Obviously, for a rookie to come in and play as well as he played, it’s difficult to do,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “He has talent. He has ability. He has the right frame of mind. Obviously, the arrow is trending up for this guy.

“He’s going to keep getting better and better and better,” Caldwell said. “We’re certainly happy to have him. He has all the necessary tools to be a really effective player in this league and he’s headed in that direction. A full offseason will be great for him, but he’s always been a very well-prepared guy. He came in well prepared.”

Decker was groomed at one better talent-producing universities in Ohio State, but that wasn’t enough. He signed on to work with LeCharles Bentley, a former Pro Bowl center who runs an offensive lineman training facility hidden in an industrial park in Chandler, Ariz., a half-hour outside of downtown Phoenix.