In the last week, NFL teams have been scouring the college football landscape, taking a long look at eligible prospects that may or may not be on the draft radar.
Each school's "Pro Day" grants pro clubs unadulterated access to players, allowing scouts the active process of completing their respective checklists in effort to compile a reasonable "big board" in preparation of the April event.
And the Detroit Lions have been one of the busiest in the league.
Since the franchise has only one drafted player to show for between 2002 and 2006 (Ernie Sims), they would like to build upon the success of last year's draft that included several starters, including DeAndre Levy, a third-round pick that is now the penciled in starter at middle linebacker. Simply put, no amount of homework is too much.
Below is the complete list of Pro Day events and players that the Lions have scouted since last week:
Confirmed Pro Day Events Attended by Detroit Lions Staff:
- Arkansas State: Detroit, among many other teams, traveled to watch DE Alex Carrington, who was absent.
- Bowling Green: The Lions spent excessive time with WR Freddie Barnes, whose meager 4.65 time in the 40 was of no concern to Detroit scout and former WR Shawn Jefferson. "He has what we call natural hands," Jefferson told the Toledo Blade. "A guy doesn't catch 155 balls in a year just on pure luck, I don't care what level it's on. That means he can catch balls all out of the framework of his body, and that's the most important aspect of a receiver. A lot of people say it's speed, but it's not."
- Florida State: The Lions need cornerbacks, so eyed Patrick Robinson carefully. Robinson impressed with a 4.38 40-yard time.
- Fresno State: RB Ryan Mathews is an exciting prospect in this draft, and the Lions need help at the position.
- Georgia: DT Geno Atkins and OLB Rennie Curran are both on the team's radar, but unheralded WR Michael Moore stole the show.
- Hillsdale College: Grand Rapids, MI-native Jared Veldheer worked out for several scouts, including the Lions. The 6-9, 321-pound OL prospect had at least one thing going for him: size. But scouts left pleased with the raw talent's work ethic and ability.
- Louisiana Tech: D'Anthony Smith is an athletic DT who posted a 35.5 inch vertical and 28 reps at 225 pounds.
- LSU: The talent-rich Tigers showed off many prospects, including OT Ciron Black, S Chad Jones, and DE Rahim Alem, each of whom intrigue Detroit.
- Middle Tennessee State: The Lions have an interest in another McCoy, too. Chris McCoy is a talented DE/OLB prospect.
- Nebraska: The obvious prospect is consensus No. 2 overall pick Ndamukong Suh, but S Larry Asante was also worth watching.
- Ohio: Like many other teams, the Lions like what they see in WR Taylor Price.
- Pittsburgh: TE Dorin Dickerson ran a 4.4 40 yard dash, and the Lions have an interest in the speedy Pittsburgh prospect.
- Tennessee: The Lions took a long look at safety Eric Berry, but likely kept tabs on DT Dan Williams.
- Utah: OT Zane Beadles and S Robert Johnson are two intriguing prospects.
- Virgnia: CB Chris Cook (6-2, 212) didn't run.
- Western Michigan: The Lions did due diligence by taking the drive to Mt. Pleasant. QB Tim Hiller impressed.
- West Virginia: Keep an eye out for OT Selvish Capers.
- Youngston State: WR Donald Jones has been a popular player since the Senior Bowls.
*Scout.com's Chris Steuber helped with the compilation of this report.