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 Alex Smith, TE in town 
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Post Alex Smith, TE in town
April 7, 2005

BY CURT SYLVESTER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
The rumors are true: Alex Smith is scheduled to visit the Lions.


Contrary to the Wednesday rumors, however, it is tight end Alex Smith of Stanford -- not quarterback Alex Smith from Utah -- who is expected to meet with Lions coaches in Allen Park this week.


Alex Smith, the quarterback, is expected to be one of the first five players taken in the NFL draft April 23. Some are projecting him as the No. 1 pick.


The Lions -- with Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia set as the top two quarterbacks -- are not expected to take a quarterback in the early rounds of the draft, so the rumors of a meeting with Alex Smith, the quarterback, were puzzling.


Stanford's Alex Smith is one of two tight ends considered worthy of being drafted in the first two rounds of the draft.


The interest in Smith, the tight end, is more logical. They recently signed 10-year veteran tight end Marcus Pollard but he is 33, and is the fourth starting tight end in as many years. By drafting Smith or Heath Miller of Virginia, the Lions would have a long-term solution to the position.


It is common for teams to arrange visits for players they would consider drafting. The Lions are currently in that process.


They have not yet landed a wide receiver in free agency and there are indications they might be looking to fill that position in the early rounds.


They met Wednesday with Mark Clayton of Oklahoma and Troy Williamson of South Carolina -- both first-round prospects -- and Mike Williams of USC reportedly will visit sometime within the next week.


The Lions have the 10th pick in the first round of the draft


http://www.freep.com/sports/lions/lions7e_20050407.htm


April 7th, 2005, 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Alex Smith, TE in town
thedanzone wrote:
They have not yet landed a wide receiver in free agency and there are indications they might be looking to fill that position in the early rounds.

They met Wednesday with Mark Clayton of Oklahoma and Troy Williamson of South Carolina -- both first-round prospects -- and Mike Williams of USC reportedly will visit sometime within the next week.


That's interesting. Only trade bait IMO, but either way, might as well meet with em - especially if we trade down!


April 7th, 2005, 2:36 pm
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Millen is also in love with Braylon Edwards, per my sources...

I wouldn't be surprised at all to see us manuver around and land a WR in the first round. I'm not saying it will happen, but it wouldn't surprise me.


April 7th, 2005, 8:41 pm
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I think alot of it is just posturing but I also beleive its more and more the best player available pick. If Mike Willimas is there than we take him, If DJ is there ( I Hope ) than we grab him. If a team wants to go crazy and trade for our pick like Cleveland last year we do that. Millen I think has come a long way since he was hired, and its looking like a better move every year.

Danzone bring back wonderbread girl! :D


April 8th, 2005, 6:54 am
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If I were M&M I'd invite everyone and their brother in for a visit.

Posturing? Maybe, but who knows how good a chess player Millen is. He may be considering a number of options. Straight draft and keep or a draft and trade.

I think he should look at all the potions.


April 8th, 2005, 9:13 pm
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Millen coy on which way draft blows

April 15, 2005


BY CURT SYLVESTER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER



Maybe Matt Millen was trying to end the speculation about the Lions' interest in Utah quarterback Alex Smith. And maybe he wasn't.


"Would I be interested in Alex Smith?" Millen said Thursday during a brief break in the Lions' draft preparations. "Absolutely."


Moments later -- as a calculated afterthought -- he added: "Both of them."


If Millen's goal is to keep the rest of the NFL -- as well as Detroit fans -- guessing about his plans for the No. 10 pick in the draft April 23-24, it seems he is succeeding.


Both of the Smiths -- Alex, the Utah quarterback, and Alex, the Stanford tight end -- are considered first-round prospects, and both visited the Lions in the past 10 days.


But the visit of Alex, the quarterback, stirred speculation about the team's commitment to Joey Harrington after the Lions denied that Smith had come to the Allen Park practice facility.


Two days later -- after the player's agent confirmed his visit -- the Lions acknowledged the truth, saying the denial was the result of an intra-office miscommunication.


Another six days later, Millen still wasn't entirely forthright while discussing the subject.


"We didn't try to do anything under the radar," he said in response to a question. "We just brought him in, and it got reported the way it got reported.


"I think anybody we bring in here is a prospect for us -- every single guy we brought in -- or we wouldn't have brought them in."


Considering Smith's career at Utah and the dazzling performance he reportedly put on in his Pro Day workout for NFL scouts, there is little doubt that Millen and others in the Lions' organization are impressed.


Harrington said Tuesday that he believes what Millen and coach Steve Mariucci have told him -- that he is the Lions' No. 1 quarterback. And even if the team was interested in drafting Smith, he likely won't be available when they make the 10th pick in the first round.


But with Smith's skill and potential, Millen would have a hard time passing on him if he somehow went unclaimed by the nine teams drafting ahead of the Lions.


"Any time you can add to the talent of your team -- period -- regardless of what it is," Millen said. "I've said that a thousand times."


And because the Lions don't have a gaping hole in their lineup, it probably would make sense for them to draft Smith if he is available. At best, they would have two valuable quarterbacks; at worst, they would have at least one capable of winning in the NFL.


In the spirit of keeping the pre-draft mystery going, Millen isn't saying exactly what he has planned for Smith, the quarterback. He said only: "If he falls down there, then that would be great."


It has been suggested -- after using the No. 1 pick on offensive players the past four years -- that Millen is leaning toward a defensive player. Linebacker Derrick Johnson of Texas, defensive end/linebacker Shawne Merriman of Maryland, cornerbacks Adam (Pac Man) Jones of West Virginia and Antrel Rolle of Miami (Fla.) all have been mentioned as possible candidates.


"I'm going to take the best player I can get, period -- what fits us right," Millen said. "I could go offense or defense. It's going to sound like (I'm) trying not to answer the question, but the truth of the matter is, whatever's there that's going to help us the most, that's what we're going to do."


Three of the four top-rated wide receiver prospects have visited the Lions. They are Braylon Edwards of Michigan, Troy Williamson of South Carolina and Mark Clayton of Oklahoma, leaving Mike Williams of Southern Cal as the only top-20-caliber receiver who hasn't visited.


Millen said the Lions might take a receiver high in the draft, but it won't be because he has doubts about Charles Rogers, who has suffered two broken collarbones and played only five full games in two seasons.


"I don't have a concern for Charles," Millen said. "In fact, I was just talking with our medical people about that. I have viewed that as a freak thing, I really have. ... He's training better than he's trained. He's running better than he's run. He's doing everything. ... He'll get out there and do what he has to do, so I'm not worried about him."


NOTEBOOK: Four more draft prospects visited Allen Park, including cornerback Rolle. The others were defensive tackle Shaun Cody of Southern Cal, outside linebacker Nick Speegle of New Mexico and inside linebacker Patrick Thomas of North Carolina State.


April 15th, 2005, 5:09 am
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