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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Lions evaluating interior linemen

Centers Alex Mack of California, Eric Wood of Louisville and Max Unger of Oregon are widely considered the top three interior linemen in the draft. The Lions have done their diligence on each and could draft one with the first pick of the second round.

According to league sources, Lions offensive line coach George Yarno (along with Jaguars tight ends coach Mike Tice) ran Mack's pro-day workout at California last month, the Lions attended Unger's personal workout conducted by Broncos coaches days earlier (and sat down there for a private film session with him), and Wood is one of 30 prospects the Lions brought to Detroit for a physical and visit.

All three players are projected late first- or early second-round picks, and all have been busy crisscrossing the country recently. Mack has traveled to Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and met with Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff; Unger visited Pittsburgh on Tuesday; and Wood was expected in Cincinnati and Cleveland this week.

The Lions, who allowed a league-high 169 sacks the last three years, are looking for more physical linemen as they try and rebuild their offensive front. If they draft Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford No. 1 overall as expected and pass on Baylor tackle Jason Smith and Virginia's Eugene Monroe, they might find the most value in a versatile lineman like Mack, Wood or Unger at pick 33. Known primarily as centers in college, all three have the temperament to play guard in the NFL, the size the Lions covet (they're all at least 6-foot-3 and 309 pounds), and could revert back to center if the Lions decide not to sign Dominic Raiola to a contract extension.

So far this offseason, the Lions have re-signed guard Stephen Peterman and backups George Foster and Damion Cook, and added free-agent guard/tackle Daniel Loper in free agency.

One other visit note, the Lions hosted former Michigan tight end Carson Butler recently after tight ends coach Tim Lappano ran Butler's pro-day workout at Michigan last month. Butler is projected as a late-round pick or priority free-agent signing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a list of all the players the Lions have had in for a visit or is that somewhat classified info?

1:05 AM 
Blogger Ty said...

I think Alex Mack would be a perfect fit for the Lions, and not just because I loved his Nickelodeon show back in the day. Someone who could come in and compete for the either guard spot right away, back up all three interior line spots, and then when Raiola packs it in, Mack could anchor the line for the next ten years. His grit, leadership, and awesome name would look great in (and on, respectively) a Lions uniform.


8:53 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one thing i do know - the lions have uncovered EVERY stone there is to uncover about EVERY prospect they're interested in so i KNOW that they're gonna draft the guys that are the best fit for the team. that alone gives me much more hope and optimism than i've had in a VERY long time.


9:48 AM 
Blogger Jesse said... has a team interest section, though it's not up-to-date.

I'd be happier with Wood or Mack at that spot than Unger, and one of the first two will be there. Personally, I like Eric Wood.

2:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have Mack rated higher then Wood. Mack is a beast with a brain like no other. He leads intelligently yet also has a nasty streak. He will have no problems smacking the first lineman that jumps the count. That and he only allowed 1 sack in college.

I would be higher on Unger if he didn't snap shot gun the last 4 years. He is not used to having to protect a QB right underneath him. These are the guys you usually see stepping on the QBs feet after then snap the ball.

2:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see Mack in a Lions uniform, but despite Dave's comment about Raiola not re-signing I don't think he's going anywhere...

7:36 PM 

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