Draft preview: T.J. Lang
I've got a story running tomorrow on Eastern Michigan offensive lineman T.J. Lang as part of our draft preview package. He's an interesting prospect. He wasn't invited to the combine but had a great week at the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game and has been shooting up draft boards since.
He said he visited 10 teams the Lions, Ravens, Packers, Bears, Chargers, Jets, Jaguars, Falcons, Texans and Cowboys and had five more that wanted to bring him in but couldn't because of conflicting schedules. A three-year starter at tackle (after playing his true freshman year at defensive tackle), Lang projects as a guard in the NFL (though some teams, including the Falcons, have worked him out at center).
On his visit with the Lions, Lang said he spent about 45 minutes working out for offensive line coach George Yarno.
It went real well, he said. Coach told me he was impressed and said that I'm a guy that he likes. We watched a little bit of film, so I think that they definitely started showing some interest. It'd be nice to stick around and be a home-town guy.
Former EMU line coach Chris Symington raves about Lang's physical play.
He's mean, Symington said. He's a mean, mean kid. He's going to try to hurt you. And he's just the opposite off the field. He's very easy-going, fun-loving guy off the field. But he is a mean individual. John Matsko from the Baltimore Ravens called me and he was just raving about him. I go, 'John, I'm just telling you, the kid is mean. He's going to try to hurt you.'
Symington said Lang decided two years ago he wanted to perfect his punch and spent the past 15 months improving his hands. He said he'd fit best in an offense that places a premium on physical play like what Jim Schwartz envisions in Detroit.
He's got to be in an offense and for a line coach who's nasty and wants to just hit people, Symington said. He's that kind of kid. 'T.J., I want you to make his head part of the sprinkling system in the turf.' And he'll do it.
Lang admits to being "the type of guy that likes to maul some people."
He's projected to go in the third or fourth round.