Mayhew: Curry could start at middle 'from Day 1'
General manager Martin Mayhew said Saturday's acquisition of Julian Peterson won't change the Lions' draft plans one bit.
In a conference call Tuesday, Mayhew said he has no reservations about playing Wake Forest's Aaron Curry at middle linebacker and indicated the Lions are still considering Curry with the No. 1 overall pick. Curry visited team headquarters over the weekend, and sources said the meeting went well from both his and the team's standpoint.
We've seen Aaron, we're familiar with Aaron, we've watched a lot of tape of Aaron, our scouts have, our coaches have, Mayhew said. We've investigated, we've talked about it, we feel very comfortable he can come in and start at MIKE (middle linebacker). If we drafted Aaron we think he could start at MIKE from Day 1.
Curry played strong-side linebacker in college and some analysts have said his best fit may be on the weak side. Peterson, however, has made three straight Pro Bowls as a strong-side linebacker and Ernie Sims is entrenched on the weak side. The Lions have no middle linebackers on their current roster.
I see him as a guy who can play all three positions, Mayhew said.
And what will Curry play next year if he's a Lion?
If we drafted Aaron Curry at this point he'd play MIKE for us, Mayhew said.
The Lions have entertained fellow potential No. 1 picks quarterback Matt Stafford of Georgia and left tackle Jason Smith of Baylor. Team representatives will be at Stafford's pro day Thursday, though Mayhew wouldn't say who. He said he was leaving Tuesday night to scout and would return Friday.
The Lions also will hold a private workout with Stafford and possibly other top picks.