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The Lions coaches and personnel have kept busy this offseason by attending numerous high-profile pro days. Here are some of the more recent and intriguing visits by Detroit's staff.
Alabama's Pro Day
Lions GM Martin Mayhew was in attendance for the Crimson Tide's pro day, and Anwar Richardson reports it is the only such visit he plans on making.
Alabama has plenty of first-round talent in RB Trent Richardson, SS Mark Barron, DE Courtney Upshaw and CB Dre Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick is a player often rumored to be a Lions target, and seeing a plethora of elite talent in one location is never a bad thing.
South Carolina's Pro Day
Detroit was just one of 30 NFL teams to attend the Gamecocks pro day. WR Alshon Jeffery, DE Melvin Ingram and CB Stephon Gilmore all worked out for scouts, but Gilmore is the one Lions fans should keep an eye out for.
Detroit has a need in the defensive backfield and Gilmore is the type of playmaker who could make an immediate impact in the secondary.
Fresno State's Pro Day
Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson attended the Bulldogs pro day to get a better look at star receiver Devon Wylie and put him through drills for pass catching and returning kicks.
Detroit's return game was notoriously bad last year as Stefan Logan lost any momentum he gained in 2010.
Utilizing a guy like Wylie or a player already on the roster like Titus Young to return kicks is a viable option at this point.
Virginia's Pro Day
The Cavaliers hosted a rather ambitious pro day featuring a staggering 17 players. All 32 NFL teams were in attendance.
The prospect to watch from the bunch has to be CB Chase Minnifield. He is an early- to mid-round talent that would fit nicely into the Lions defensive backfield.
Florida State's Pro Day
The Lions checked out the top Seminoles talent as 12 players worked out for NFL scouts.
OT Zebrie Sanders would make a lot of sense for the Lions in the middle part of the draft, but guys like CB Mike Harris and OT Antwane Greenlee should be on the radar as well.
Detroit has certainly had no problem bringing in a wide range of prospects for workouts. Here are the players the Lions have either already worked out or plan on giving a visit according to Pride of Detroit.
RB LaMichael James (Oregon)—March 21
RB Derrick Coleman (UCLA)—April 16
WR David Douglas (Arizona)—April 11
OT Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State)—March 13
OT Mike Adams (Ohio State)—March 14
OT Kevin Murphy (Harvard)—April 11
OT Dennis Kelly (Purdue)—April 13
OG Brandon Brooks (Miami Ohio)—March 12
OG Amini Silatolu (Midwestern State)—March 20
OG J.C. Oram (Weber State)—April 13
DE Braylon Broughton (TCU)—March 19
DE Whitney Mercilus (Illinois)—April 9
DE Kaelin Burnett (Nevada)—April 10
LB Zach Brown (North Carolina)—April 10
CB Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina)—March 13
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)—March 20
CB Keith Tandy (West Virginia)—April 13
CB Isaiah Frey (Nevada)—April 16
Prospects Lions Have Rumored Interest In
CBS Sports Writer Jeff Reynolds believes defense will be the focus of Detroit's draft.
Two options they’ve studied closely, Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama and South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore, are the kind of big, physical corners coach Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham prefer in a press-bump scheme. Both players are ready to start, whereas the next tier of prospects, including Trumaine Johnson (Montana), might have a steeper learning curve.”
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has Detroit taking Jonathan Martin with the 23rd pick.
The Lions can't go wrong with either the best corner or tackle option here. In this scenario, Martin fits what they'll be looking for to bring the O-line up to par. An athletic tackle, he should develop into a great pass protector for Matthew Stafford. Jeff Backus has played forever, the Lions have enough pieces elsewhere and must target the line.
Kiper's coworker Todd McShay has the Lions going back to the defensive end well and drafting Whitney Mercilus.
The Lions put the franchise tag on DE Cliff Avril, and Kyle Vanden Bosch will be 34 this season, so now is the time to add an edge rusher to make sure their defensive line will remain a devastating force for years to come. Mercilus has quickness and a knack for big plays, but he is still developing and this would be a good situation for him.