Lions continue to scout quarterbacks

As debates continue on the radio and internet regarding whether or not the Detroit Lions have an interest in upgrading the quarterback position this off-season, it is likely that the truth lies somewhere in between. More inside, including Detroit's most recent scouting escapade -- this time of a Pac-10 quarterback.

As debates continue on the radio and internet regarding whether or not the Detroit Lions have an interest in upgrading the quarterback position this off-season, it is likely that the truth lies somewhere in between.

With a slight nod to a 'yes.'

After a rather public spectacle regarding the issue (offensive coordinator Mike Martz committed a cardinal sin by stating the Lions were not looking at quarterbacks, which was quickly rebutted by team president Matt Millen), the team has at least been giving the position due diligence.

As the NFL draft slowly approaches, Detroit's scouting department has traveled the country in the traditional collegiate Pro Day march -- and they haven't necessarily avoided quarterbacks. In fact, they have specifically visited draft-eligible players at the position.

Most recently, Martz and a small collection of Lions scouts stopped in Palo Alto, California for Stanford's Pro Day, demonstrating a distinct interest in Cardinal quarterback Trent Edwards.

On Tuesday, Edwards entertained 29 other teams that were in attendance, and didn't disappoint. Formerly the No. 2 high school prospect entering college four years ago (just behind current Titans starter Vince Young), Edwards ran a 4.7, 40-yard dash and put on an exquisite passing display.

In a rainy environment, Edwards completed 47 of his 50 passes, prompting Martz to sit down exclusively with Edwards. In fact, some in attendance said that Martz privately suggested that Edwards (who went winless in his final campaign at Stanford) has a higher upside and value than Notre Dame's Brady Quinn -- another quarterback the team has scouted.

What should generate buzz is that Edwards, unlike Quinn, still isn't likely to be a first day selection. And the Lions, who are quietly stock piling draft picks, might be willing to part with a second or third-rounder if Edwards is available.

On the chance Edwards lands elsewhere, Martz and the Lions have also put together an advanced scouting report on Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith.

The Lions, again led by Martz, visited Smith last week and left impressed. Smith is also expected to find a home in the second or third-round. Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton has also been spotted on the radar.

Head coach Rod Marinelli already gifted the starting quarterback job to last year's starter, Jon Kitna, with capable back-up Josh McCown and former fifth-round pick and the promising Dan Orlovsky close behind. With the position seemingly solidified, Detroit's interest remains dubious.

However, what the Lions have is a coach in Martz with a reputation of developing young arms, in addition to a nice serving of draft currency that could continue to accumulate before late April. If they feel justified, the team would have the ammo and scouting knowledge to beefen up the position.


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