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Wednesday Notes: Lions Line Up More Visits with Free Agents

  • Defensive tackle Grady Jackson, who last played for the Falcons, is expected to sign today if he passes a physical.  The deal will reportedly be two or three years long.
  • Tight end L.J. Smith, formerly of the Eagles, was reportedly headed to Michigan last night and will probably meet with the Lions today. (The story didn't specify when the meeting was scheduled to take place, but generally the formal sit-down will be during the day.)
  • Offensive lineman Daniel Loper, who can apparently play both guard and tackle, also was on his way to Michigan last night for a visit today. 
  • Cornerback Chris Carr will probably end up deciding between the Titans, Browns, and Lions.
  • The Lions and Broncos both are reportedly interested in quarterback Chris Simms, who played for the Titans last season.  No visit has been scheduled yet for Detroit, but Simms is probably going to meet with the Broncos today.
  • Speaking of the Broncos, they have decided to not trade Jay Cutler and have made that clear to the public.  Cutler is going to have a meeting with new coach Josh McDaniels next week, which likely will be the last of this story before it fizzles out.  It was a pipe dream that the Lions would somehow trade for Cutler, but it was fun to think about for a few days.  Just look at the havoc Martin Mayhew helped create.  Unlike Matt Millen, it wasn't to his own team.
  • In case you needed more incentive to not give a damn about what Mel Kiper says about the draft, check out The Big Lead, which put together a look back at Kiper's 2005 draft grades.  My favorite evaluation of all is on Mike Williams.
    Detroit Lions: C+
    Give the Lions credit for going away from their biggest needs to take receiver Mike Williams, who was clearly the best player available at No. 10 overall, but you have to wonder if they got enough help for the defense. Williams gives Detroit perhaps the best young receiving corps in the league, but defensive linemen Shaun Cody (a versatile end-tackle combo) and end Bill Swancutt (a one-dimensional pass rusher) may not be enough of a boost up front.
    While he did correctly predict that Shaun Cody and Bill Swancutt would not help the pass rush that much, how on earth do he miss so badly on Williams?  On top of that, Kiper said that Cedric Benson "has all the makings of a star running back," and he offered this analysis on the 49ers' decision to draft Alex Smith.
    San Francisco 49ers: B
    A good first day but an average second day. There were no trade opportunities compelling enough that San Francisco wanted to give up the No. 1 overall pick, but quarterback Alex Smith is a player who's easy to like.
    Since Kiper is busy trumpeting Matthew Stafford to be the top overall pick, this is only more evidence to go in a direction other than QB.