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 Edwards likes Lions, but... 
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Post Edwards likes Lions, but...
http://www.freep.com/sports/lions/lions9e_20050409.htm

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Edwards likes Lions, but ...
April 9, 2005
BY CURT SYLVESTER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Braylon Edwards came to Allen Park for a visit Friday. And, if it were up to him, he'd be back to stay in two weeks.

Nothing against the other 31 NFL teams that might covet him in the April 23-24 draft, but the University of Michigan wide receiver would be more than happy to play for his hometown Lions.

"I'm from Detroit, played at Michigan," Edwards said. "So if I went to Detroit, that would be right up my alley, right down the street.

"If I play here in front of my hometown, there would be a lot of support and it would be a lot of fun."

His family -- including his father, Stanley, who played briefly with the Lions at the end of his own NFL career -- wouldn't have to travel the country to see him play.

"Tell me about it," Edwards said, laughing. "Tell me about it."

And he can see himself fitting in nicely with the Lions' two other young receivers -- Charles Rogers and Roy Williams -- in what would conceivably be one of the NFL's best 1-2-3 receiving combinations.

"We're two years apart -- Charles, then Roy, then there's me," Edwards said. "That would be a great situation -- three guys like that, three young, talented receivers. It would be hard in a couple years to stop three guys that had mastered the system."

It is not difficult for Edwards to get enthused about the possibility of playing for the Lions, who seem to be headed for better seasons after winning only 16 games in the last four years. But the reality of the situation is that it probably has no chance of happening.

Nine teams will make their selections before the Lions make their first pick in this year's draft. By even the most conservative estimate, it's hard to imagine Edwards would slip out of the top five.

Although the San Francisco 49ers are expected to use the No. 1 pick to take one of the top two quarterbacks -- Alex Smith of Utah or Aaron Rodgers of California -- they reportedly are also considering Edwards.

And if the 49ers don't draft him, many NFL observers doubt Edwards will slip beyond Miami, Cleveland, Chicago or Tampa Bay, the teams that follow San Francisco in the first-round order.

Edwards already has visited the Bears and says he has commitments to visit the 49ers, Minnesota, Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

If none of the first five teams selected him, he would still have to get past Tennessee, Minnesota, Arizona and Washington before the Lions would have a chance to draft him.

Although the Lions' chances of drafting Edwards seem remote, they frequently meet with as many of the top candidates as possible, in case the player slides in the draft or there is a chance for a trade.

As much Edwards says he'd like to play for the Lions, deep down he's hoping to go much higher than No. 10. The difference between a top-five selection and a six-through-10 selection is the difference of several million dollars.

"That's the business side of it," Edwards said. "You go from a potential one through four, which is guaranteeing yourself between 20 and 16 (million dollars), and then you drop down to 10, which is somewhere between five and seven.

"So it's a big difference, but if it happens, it happens. Just to get your foot in the door, that's the main thing -- just to be in the NFL and to be able to showcase your talents."


April 9th, 2005, 6:16 pm
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