Both Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn have had busy weeks. They’ve both been spotted at Georgia’s and Ohio State’s Pro Days this week, and Patricia has even gone so far as to help run drills at both sites.
So when the University of Michigan held their Pro Day on Friday, it was a chance for the two to relax and watch some NFL draft prospects from their own backyard. Only one problem: Neither of the two were present.
No Matt Patricia, no Bob Quinn spotted here at Michigan Pro Day. Lions assistant director of pro scouting Rob Lohman is the only accounted for attendee from the Allen Park contingent. He’s watching John O’Korn throw pic.twitter.com/TruV5sWMtV— Tori Petry (@sportstori) March 23, 2018
After sending just about everyone to Georgia’s Pro Day and having a handful of contingents at Ohio State, why did the Lions go light at Michigan?
Some have already speculated that this shows the Lions have no real interest in first-round defensive tackle prospect Maurice Hurst. Others think this is a clear sign Detroit is handling some free agency meetings today—after all, those reported visits with Johnathan Hankins and Alan Branch may or may not have happened yet.
However, the answer may be a lot more simple than that. Remember, that during the pre-draft process teams can bring in local draft prospects for a “Local Day” which works almost identically to a Pro Day, expect the Lions are the sole team running drills and doing interviews. If the Lions want to talk to Maurice Hurst, or any of the other prospects that fall into the NFL’s definition of a local prospect, they can do so without it counting against one of their 30 designated team visits.
Last year, the Lions held the event to meet with former Michigan tight end Jake Butt and defensive end Taco Charlton, among others.
So, in other words, don’t freak out that most of the Lions’ personnel department skipped out of Michigan’s Pro Day. Sure, it wouldn’t have cost them a plane ticket to see, but the Lions will be able to get all of this information, and potentially even more, during their own local days—and they can do so while keeping their draft intentions more secretive.