With the NFL Combine out of the way, two things remain as far as scouting goes for the 2011 NFL Draft: college pro days and player visits. Pro days began earlier in the month and will continue through the end of March. Visits have a larger time frame and are more about the mental makeup of players rather than their physical skills or athleticism.
Last year on Pride of Detroit, I kept track of all the visits we heard about. Ndamukong Suh was the only player on the list that ended up being drafted by the Lions, but the list was far from complete considering each team gets 30 visits. Plus, many of the visits were with first-round prospects, which makes sense considering teams can't afford to miss on guys in the first round.
So far this year three names are out there in connection with the Detroit Lions. The first is Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith. According to Dave Birkett, Smith flew in today and will meet with the Lions on Friday. Talent-wise, many consider Smith to be worth the 13th overall pick, but questions about his off-the-field behavior and attitude in general linger. Visiting with him will give the Lions a chance to get to know him better and assess whether the question marks are valid or not.
NFL Draft Bible reports that Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray will meet with the Lions this week. Also, Fresno State defensive end Chris Carter has already had a "private visit" with the Lions, according to the Fresno Bee.