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News » Lions to evaluate current, potential quarterbacks

Lions to evaluate current, potential quarterbacks

Lions to evaluate current, potential quarterbacks
ALLEN PARK -- Starting next week, when the Detroit Lions begin their offseason program, new Lions coach Jim Schwartz will have six weeks to analyze the talent he has at quarterback -- and to determine whether he needs more talent.

Daunte Culpepper, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson are expected to join the workouts, and they will participate in a minicamp before the April 25 draft. The Lions also will have a couple of organized team activity practices before the draft.

The Lions have the first overall pick, and the consensus among draft analysts is that Detroit will take one of four players: Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, Baylor left tackle Jason Smith or Virginia left tackle Eugene Monroe.

Before Schwartz makes a decision on drafting a quarterback, though, he wants to know exactly what he has on the roster.

"In the spring, when we start the first minicamp and the first OTAs, I'll sort of let that determine some of that," Schwartz said Tuesday. "We need to see where Drew Stanton is. We need to see Drew Henson. We need to see Daunte. We need those guys to throw. The early part of the offseason program, the first minicamp, the first OTA days, may have something to do with that and our comfort level with those guys."

In the meantime, the Lions will do a lot of work evaluating Stafford and a couple other potential first-round quarterbacks -- USC's Mark Sanchez and Kansas State's Josh Freeman. The Lions also have the 20th overall pick and could select one of those two players at that spot.

The immediate focus, though, is on Stafford, who will have his pro day at Georgia next week. He visited the Lions at their Allen Park offices as part of the individual interview process.

"The first thing is that we need to see him throw, and throw drills. We've looked at every throw for the last two years, every play that he's played," Schwartz said. "We'll do the same with just about every quarterback, particularly someone that will need to be drafted early. There's one thing watching it on tape, it's another thing when you're standing next to him, the way you do on a practice field, and you can direct him: 'This is the throw, this is where we want to see the ball thrown.' And you can see if he can respond to that. You can tell a lot there, when you're there up close-and-personal, that you can't see on tape."

The Lions also will have an individual workout with Stafford at some point. Under league rules, those workouts, in which only Lions' personnel will attend, must be held on the player's campus.

The benefit of the individual workout is that Stafford won't be in the same comfort zone as his pro day, where he will throw to his college receivers and the drills are more choreographed. In the individual workout, Stafford will do specific drill work and throw passes that only the Lions will demand of him.

A few years ago, when Schwartz was with the Titans, Tennessee had the third overall pick in the draft and the Titans' coaching staff traveled to look at all the top quarterback prospects.

"We did a junket with (Matt) Leinart, (Jay) Cutler and (Vince) Young," said Schwartz, adding that the Titans brought along their own corps of receivers. Schwartz said he is not sure if the Lions will do the same thing this time around.

"I don't know that that made a big difference," said Schwartz, adding that Detroit also is considering individual workouts with Sanchez and Freeman.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 12, 2009

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Kurt Campbell Name: Kurt Campbell
Position: LB
Age: 25
Experience: 2 years
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