Thursday Notes: Ronald Curry Visits Lions; Draft Board Not Yet Finalized

  • Free agent wide receiver Ronald Curry visited the Lions on Wednesday.  The Lions just added Will Franklin and are continuing to search for receivers to upgrade the position as a whole.  Curry had a good couple seasons in Oakland but struggled in 2008.  Even so, he is a veteran and someone who could probably contribute.
  • I have a hard time believing Matthew Stafford being the top pick is a done deal when Jim Schwartz just claimed that the Lions' draft board isn't even finalized yet.  Apparently they're just finishing up getting each position ranked and haven't even started the overall rankings.  Of course, he could be lying through his teeth to throw people off, and maybe I can't recognize that simply because of what I'm used to in the past.  Then again, is there really an incentive to lie that much?  It's not like any team is going to trade for the top pick, so I wouldn't understand the need to throw out that much disinformation.  It seems just about as unlikely as Stafford having a contract ready to roll already.
  • Schwartz also recently said that the Lions will re-evaluate their quarterback situation after the minicamp that starts on Friday.  Right now the quarterbacks on the roster are Daunte Culpepper, Drew Stanton, and Drew Henson.  If Matthew Stafford or another QB is drafted, Henson will likely be gone, and Stanton could be released as well if a veteran backup is signed.  There's no point in speculating, though, as the draft is only nine days away.  By then every situation with the roster will probably be different, so let's just save the speculating since it will be moot shortly.
  • One other thing Schwartz said was that Jeff Backus will play at left tackle during the minicamp, which isn't all that surprising.  Again, things can and probably will change after the draft.  If a tackle is drafted, Backus will be moved to left guard.  Until that happens, however, he will stay at tackle.
  • Mike Mayock basically summed up my thoughts on why the Lions shouldn't draft Matthew Stafford in a conference call on Wednesday.
    "The way I look at the quarterback position is it's the most important position in the NFL," Mayock said. "But you better make sure you're going to bang the table and believe in the guy if you're going to take him in the top 10 like I did with Matt Ryan a year ago. He was my No. 1 guy the whole year for a reason. I don't feel the same way about (Matt) Stafford, so if I'm the Lions I take Eugene Monroe and I worry about the quarterback position either at No. 20, trading up from 20, next year, whatever. But me personally, I couldn't afford to take a shot at No. 1 where if I'm wrong I think I set the franchise back another five years."
    This has been my position on Stafford ever since discussion about the No. 1 pick began.  Although he is the top QB in the draft in many people's mind, that doesn't mean he is a top pick overall.  I still feel like Stafford isn't an elite player and has a higher chance of being a bad pick than someone like Aaron Curry, Jason Smith, or Eugene Monroe.  Of course, any player could end up being a bust; that is just part of the draft.  However, I just feel like this is one gamble the Lions can't take. 

    As far as who Mayock thinks the Lions should draft, Monroe, I would be more than happy with that scenario.  The Lions could then target a quarterback with the 20th pick if someone drops, or they could even look into trading up if someone like Mark Sanchez is still around after the top ten picks are done.  Regardless, I like the way Mayock has this draft analyzed.  It seems like every analyst out there has an agenda of some sort, but Mayock doesn't give off that impression.  That's probably only because of Mel Kiper, though.  This isn't Stafford's fault, but Kiper has been the driver of his bandwagon based primarily on the fact that he had Stafford being a No. 1 pick coming out of high school.  Why change your mind when you have come this close to being right?
  • Pro Football Talk is reporting that Adam Schefter is going to leave NFL Network for ESPN later this year.  I would be pissed off if this move came to fruition, as I truly believe Schefter is one of the very best in the business.  Part of the reason why I think that is because he doesn't work for ESPN, where they are all about getting the story before anyone else, whether it is true or not.  Chris Mortenson has been behind a few stories that turned out to be not true, and it seems like Schefter always comes out as being the one with the credible information.  I would hate to see him leave NFL Network for ESPN, because some of his credibility would go out the door with him the moment he signed with the Worldwide Leader.
  • It's playoff time, Detroit!  The Red Wings open the playoffs tonight against the Blue Jackets, beginning their quest to defend their Stanley Cup title.  For full coverage of the Wings, check out Winging It In Motown.
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