Lions notebook from the NFL Scouting Combine Pt. 1

The NFL Scouting Combine rolls into the weekend with the on-field workouts half done and many of the interviews in the books already.

Here’s some of what I saw, heard and observed in the first few days of the combine in Indianapolis from a Lions perspective.

Pass rushers who fit

As of the time of writing, we’ve only had one day of on-field drills and athletic testing. The Lions contingency inside Lucas Oil Stadium was fixated on the defensive linemen and EDGE rushers from inside their team suite above the workout field.

What they saw was a very gifted group of athletes. Many of them also happen to play football very well, though one hand doesn’t always shake with the other in that regard.

Some of the tackles whose workouts and measurements should hold some considerable appeal for the Lions:

Braden Fiske, Florida State

Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson

Byron Murphy, Texas and Johnny Newton, Illinois — though nobody in Indy thinks either is going to last to No. 29

And the EDGEs, where the team has spent some focus in interviews on the guys typically projected outside the first round:

Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan

Chris Braswell, Alabama

Gabriel Murphy, UCLA

Darius Robinson, Missouri

The Jamo hype is real

Head coach Dan Campbell talked up Jameson Williams in his podium interview to kick off the week in Indianapolis. Everything we’re hearing behind the scenes reflects that Campbell wasn’t just feeding us a line.

There is a very real expectation that Williams will be the team’s full-time No. 2 wideout (behind All-Pro Amon-Ra St. Brown) in the 2024 season. It was brought up affirmatively by a few different Lions personnel over the first few days of the combine. A fully healthy offseason where the speedster is one more year removed from his ACL surgery is consistently cited.

So too, is Williams’ maturity both on and off the field. It’s all secondhand information, but all of it is overwhelmingly positive. It points to a big year coming for No. 9–and the Lions clearly expect it.

Trade chatter

Fans have been clamoring for any trade rumors or allegations. On that front, even the “completely off the record” talks have been quiet. That’s been true with other teams as well, not just the Lions.

Some of that is a function of the dramatic increase in the salary cap. Players who were alleged to be on the trade block because of financial concerns–either for the player or his current team–are not as available anymore.

One name that could realistically be available: Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed. The Chiefs have proven they will let valuable assets walk if their price value doesn’t match what the player desires. See Tyreek Hill. Sneed surely fits what the Lions want in an outside cornerback, and Detroit does have the cap room to offer Sneed what he is (allegedly) looking for in a new deal.

Whether the Lions have an interest in a trade is another issue entirely. I asked two different Chiefs sources about an asking price for a trade. Independently, they both came back with the same basic speculative answer: Detroit’s first-round pick and one of the team’s two third-rounders this year, with the Chiefs sending back either a fourth-round pick this year or a Day 3 pick next year.

Would the Lions make that deal? Stay tuned…

Amon-Ra St. Brown extension

Several reports came out early in the week that the Lions and All-Pro wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown are working on a contract extension.

There is a general expectation that a deal will be done well before the draft, which takes place at the end of April. As for the price tag?

Expect a deal with a higher guaranteed overall total than a longer deal with a bigger total, an option laid out here as the second hypothetical deal. I probably lowballed St. Brown on the $24.5 million per year contract average, however, based on some professional feedback.

Wide receiver meetings

Based on the players who acknowledged official and unofficial visits, the Lions appear to have some serious interest in the non-premium tier of wide receivers. Among those who said they met with the Lions in some capacity:

Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Malik Washington, Virginia

Luke McCaffrey, Rice

Tez Walker, North Carolina

Ricky Piersall, Florida

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

Jordan Whittington, Texas

Bub Means, Pittsburgh

And two wideouts who said they had not met with the Lions at all at the time of their podium interview:

Johnny Wilson, Florida State

Xavier Worthy, Texas



Story originally appeared on Lions Wire