Lions Notebook: Draft, Free-agency forecast

Furrey arrived last winter as a virtual unknown and finished second in the NFL in receptions with 98 for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns; Redding moved from left defensive end to defensive tackle after injuries to starters Shaun Rogers and Shaun Cody, and he responded with a team-high eight sacks. Both are free-agents. More inside.

FREE AGENT UPDATE

Furrey and DT Cory Redding are the Lions' top priorities for re-signing.

Furrey arrived last winter as a virtual unknown and finished second in the NFL in receptions with 98 for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns, five catches behind league-leader Andre Johnson. Redding moved from left defensive end to defensive tackle after injuries to starters Shaun Rogers and Shaun Cody, and he responded with a team-high eight sacks.

The Lions have initiated talks with Furrey but were unable to get him signed before the final game of the season. Redding has been vague on whether he wants to test free agency, and it has been suggested, but not by Lions officials, that the team might use the franchise tag to keep him.

Other unrestricted free agents include FS Terrence Holt, FB Cory Schlesinger, S Jon McGraw, OG Rick DeMulling, WR Corey Bradford, CB Jamar Fletcher, DT Tyoka Jackson and RB Arlen Harris. Aside from Furrey and Redding, Holt is the only full-time starter slated for free agency.

FEELING A DRAFT

By beating Dallas in the final game of the season, the Lions blew their shot at the No. 1 pick in the draft. Instead, they will pick second behind the Raiders. They need help in numerous areas, and after striking out with QB Joey Harrington, WR Charles Rogers and WR Mike Williams in a string of five consecutive offensive players taken with their first pick, it is unlikely they will focus on either of those positions. They took LB Ernie Sims with the No. 1 pick last year, and it would not be surprising if they make it two in a row on the defensive side.

TEAM NEEDS
Defensive end: It's been years since the Lions had a stud pass rusher, and the lack of outside pressure hurt them in 2006.
Offensive tackle: Jon Kitna was sacked 63 times and could face more of the same if the Lions don't get help on the offensive line.
Running back: Kevin Jones is coming off Lisfranc foot surgery, and if he's not ready for the regular season, the Lions have big trouble.

MEDICAL WATCH

The Lions finished the season with 15 players on injured reserve and a 16th -- rookie OT Jonathan Scott -- waiting for a determination on whether he will need hip surgery. OG Damien Woody (foot), DT Shaun Rogers (knee), DE James Hall (shoulder), DT Shaun Cody (toe) and RB Kevin Jones (foot) are all starters who have had any necessary procedures and are expected to be in various stages of rehab when the Lions begin offseason workouts. Jones' Lisfranc foot surgery is the most concerning because of the uncertainty regarding the length of time needed to come back.


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