- It does not appear the Lions will be making a move up in the first round. Bob Quinn could foresee his team trading down but does not believe (via the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers) he has enough draft capital — one pick in each of the first five rounds — to vault up from No. 8. Detroit has been mentioned as a stealth quarterback seeker, but trading up for one does not appear to be in the cards.
- As the deadline for teams to wrap up pre-draft visits approaches, the Lions squeezed in a meeting with Clelin Ferrell, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes (via Twitter). Detroit’s biggest offseason investment went toward its defensive end corps, in Trey Flowers‘ deal, but the Lions have met with other edge prospects as well. Both Brian Burns and L.J. Collier visited the Lions this month. Like Burns, Ferrell grades as a first-round-level prospect.
We will keep you apprised of all minor moves right here over the course of the day:
- Signed: S Charles Washington (ERFA)
- Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns‘ next visit will be with the Buccaneers, as he noted on Chris Simms Unbuttoned (link via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). After sitting down with Tampa Bay, Burns is expected to meet with the Lions, Giants, and Colts, the latter of whom has shown the most interest in Burns thus far. The ex-Seminole could come off the board within the top-10 selections of the draft, and he’s viewed as one of the best pass rushers in the 2019 class. After posting 23 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss during his collegiate career, Burns tested like an elite athlete at the scouting combine.
- TCU defensive end L.J. Collier is meeting with the Lions, Eagles, and Seahawks, per Rapoport (Twitter link), who adds Collier is “quietly pushing” to become a first-round pick. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com currently ranks Collier as the No. 45 prospect, noting that while he isn’t an “elite bender,” Collier has the ability to play both inside and on the edge. In his senior season with TCU, Collier posted six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in 11 games.
Savage has had a tough go of it since entering the league as a fourth-round pick of the Texans in 2014. He served as a backup in his rookie campaign, missed all of 2015 with a shoulder injury, worked primarily as a backup to Brock Osweiler in 2016, and finally got his chance to start in 2017. But he made it through just the first half of the first game of the 2017 season, and he was benched at halftime in favor of Deshaun Watson, whom the team had drafted in the first round that year. He reentered the starting lineup when Watson went down with an ACL injury, but he ended up putting together a 1-6 record and a 71.4 quarterback rating.
Savage signed with the Saints last April but was cut before the start of the regular season, and he bounced on and off of the 49ers’ roster for several months. He finished out the 2018 campaign with the Bengals, who claimed him off waivers in November, but he did not see a regular season snap last year.
For his career, Savage has a 2-7 record and has thrown for five touchdowns against seven interceptions. With Detroit, he will compete to serve as Matthew Stafford‘s backup. The only other QB currently on the Lions’ roster is Connor Cook, though the club may select a passer in this month’s draft.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Metcalf, who boasts the most impressive physical tools of any wide receiver in this year’s class, could be an option for Buffalo with the No. 9 overall pick.
Some have knocked Metcalf for his lack of natural catching ability, but he had no trouble reeling in the ball in 2017 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns for Ole Miss. There’s also some concern about Metcalf’s health, but he was cleared for all football activities in January following his October neck surgery.
Here’s a look at the latest NFL Draft buzz:
- Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will visit the Buccaneers on Monday, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Bucs could use another wide receiver after losing DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but it’s not clear whether they’d be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick at that position.
- Iowa tight end Noah Fant will visit with the Lions on Monday, Rapoport reports. Fant registered 518 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns in his final campaign with the Hawkeyes. The Lions could use a player like Fant after Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, and Michael Roberts underwhelmed last year. Recently, the Lions strengthened the TE group by adding Jesse James, but there’s still room for improvement.
- Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker will get together with the Steelers, per RapSheet. Last year, Baker captured the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. But, at 5’11 and 193 pounds, Baker doesn’t offer ideal size for the position.
- Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit with the Patriots on Monday and the Packers on Tuesday, Rapoport hears. There has been some speculation that McGary could be employed as a guard at the pro level.
- The Giants are hosting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Rapoport hears. The Giants are armed with picks at No. 6 and 17, though one of those selections may be spent on drafting Eli Manning‘s successor.
- Charlotte guard Nate Davis will take a Top 30 visit with the Bills, Rapoport hears.
- Details are in on C.J. Anderson‘s Lions deal, courtesy of Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The veteran running back’s one-year agreement is worth nearly $1.5MM and can max out at $3MM (Twitter links). Anderson received $200K to sign. Anderson signed for one year and nearly $1.7MM with the Panthers last year. Both of these agreements represent steep pay reductions when compared to Anderson’s previous four-year, $18MM Broncos pact. But the 27-year-old back stands to play a key part in Detroit’s backfield this season, perhaps setting him up for another contract in 2020.
- When T.J. Lang opted to retire, he left a big hole on the right side of the Lions’ offensive line. But Detroit is apparently confident they’ll be able to replace him, according to recent comments head coach Matt Patricia made, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website. As Twentyman and Patricia broke down, the team has a number of options. They have Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins returning from last year, and they added Oday Aboushi this offseason. Patricia also said that second-year offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby could play some guard.
- Speaking of the Lions and holes, they had a massive one at tight end last year after Eric Ebron left. They got virtually nothing from the position last year, so it won’t be surprising if they draft one early in this year’s draft. To that end, the team hosted Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. for a visit on Thursday, according to a tweet from Josh Norris of Rotoworld. Smith Jr. is most analyst’s third-rated tight end, and could go as high as the first round. He caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last season.
The Jaguars have signed free agent offensive lineman Leonard Wester, the club announced today.
Wester spent the past three seasons with the Buccaneers before being non-tendered as a restricted free agent, and he’ll reunite with former Tampa Bay offensive line coach George Warhop, who now holds the same title in Jacksonville. While the Jaguars are set at left tackle with Cam Robinson, the club has a wide open slot on the right side following the release of Jermey Parnell, so Wester could compete for a starting job.
Wester, 26, went undrafted out of Missouri Western State in 2016. He’s appeared in 27 NFL games (all with the Buccaneers), but hasn’t been asked to play much of a significant role, as he’s made only one start during his career. In 2018, Wester played 116 offensive snaps, which marked a career-high, but Pro Football Focus assigned him a poor grade of 46.6 for his performance.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.