NFL Notes: Lions, Patriots, Titans

Lions

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions hosted some notable draft prospects on Friday including:

  • Boston College DE Harold Landry
  • Wake Forest S Jessie Bates
  • Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown
  • Louisville OT Geron Christian
  • Arizona DB Dane Cruikshank

Patriots

  • Mike Reiss mentions that the Patriots manage their salary cap tightly to keep them in position to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and Dez Bryant being available could be an opportunity of interest to New England.
  • Reiss admits that he doesn’t know how New England feels about Bryant specifically, and it’s unlikely they’ll be the highest bidder for him, but if he was willing to sign a short-term deal around $4 million per year, it’s possible the Patriots would consider signing him.
  • Regarding QB Johnny Manziel, Reiss says there’s no risk to signing him to a minimum deal. Even so, New England would, obviously, have to be willing to deal with all that would come with bringing him in.
  • Reiss considers Alabama LB Rashaan Evans to be a name worth watching for the Patriots.
  • As for the Patriots possibly taking Louisville QB Lamar Jackson in round one, Reiss thinks they would probably pass on him, due to his low completion percentage and decision-making.

Titans

New Titans OC Matt LaFleur said during an appearance on 104.5 FM’s “Midday 180” that he recently sat down and watched tape of QB Marcus Mariota and came away even more impressed than he already was.

“It’s interesting, because you get to know these guys a little bit when they come out from the draft,” LaFleur said, via TitansOnline.com. “And he is as impressive as they come. He is humble, just a high-character person. And when you watch the tape, you notice – I always call them prerequisites for good quarterback play. He is a natural thrower, and he is fearless. And he is an unbelievable competitor. I am just really excited to get a chance to work with a guy of his skill-set.”

LaFleur believes Mariota will be a great fit for his offensive system, citing his athleticism and throwing ability.

“Yeah, because I just mentioned – I think he is fearless,” LaFleur said. “I think he is an extreme competitor. I think he is a guy who can make teammates around him better and I think he is a natural thrower. And he does have that element of athleticism that not all these quarterbacks have. So just to add that as another weapon within the offense, I think that gets any offensive coach very excited.”

  • Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official site expects the team’s offense to be “more wide-open” under recently acquired OC Matt LaFleur by calling more run-pass option plays for QB Marcus Mariota.
  • Regarding who starts on the offensive line, Wyatt expects Taylor Lewan to start at left tackle, Jack Conklin at right tackle, and Ben Jones at center. He could also see the Titans drafting competition for the offensive line in the coming weeks.
  • As for who starts at the two guard spots, Wyatt writes that Josh Kline will have a starting role while Kevin Pamphile, Xavier Su’a-Filo, and Quinton Spain will compete for the starting job opposite of Kline.
  • According to Tony Pauline, the Titans canceled a pre-draft visit with Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch because they don’t think he’ll be available to them at No. 25 overall. (Paul Kuharsky)

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