Coach: Lions a long way from decision

Updated: March 10, 2009, 7:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have six weeks until they have to make the first selection of the NFL draft, and they are in no hurry to decide.

"There's still a lot to do before we make that decision," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. "There are still a lot of hoops for these guys to jump through."

Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford is widely considered to be on the short list of players who could be selected by the Lions on April 25.

The Lions hosted Stafford on a visit to their practice facility Tuesday, according to a story posted on the team's Web site.

Stafford didn't throw for teams at the scouting combine in Indianapolis last month. He'll do that at Georgia's Pro Day and then have a private workout on campus with the Lions.

"Obviously, we need to see his arm, and we need to get more than we can get at Georgia's Pro Day," Schwartz said. "After all, that will be a day that every team attends, and that will be highlighting their other players, not just Stafford."

Schwartz said Detroit's staff has studied Stafford on film, but he wants the private workout to put the quarterback through specific situations.

"We've seen every pass he's thrown in the last two years, and that's where you learn about his decision-making ability," he said. "At the workout, though, we can have more control over the balls he's throwing -- we can see how he throws to the stationary targets we want to see and how he throws to the moving targets we want to see."

It would be "exciting" if the Lions select him first in the draft, Stafford was quoted as saying on the Lions' Web site.

"That would be an honor to, obviously, be the No. 1 pick and be able to come to Detroit and hopefully turn it around and be a part of a regime that kind of brought [this organization] back to life," he added. "It would be a dream come true; it would be awesome for me, but if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen. Wherever I end up going, it's football and you've got to make the best of it."

Schwartz said the Lions haven't made arrangements to have private workouts with other players, such as offensive tackles Jason Smith (Baylor) and Eugene Monroe (Virginia) or linebacker Aaron Curry (Wake Forest), but said there was a "strong possibility" that the team would visit more players.

Schwartz said Curry, who profiles as a strongside linebacker, has the versatility to move around the defense.

"He's played on the strong side, both standing up and down on the line, but he's also played the middle in their nickel package and as almost a strong safety in other situations," Schwartz said. "This is a very versatile player, which is why he's been looked at so highly."

The Lions haven't made any big free-agent acquisitions, but Schwartz didn't consider that a bad thing.

"For one thing, I don't think that free agency is something you can look at on its own -- you have to look at it in conjunction with the draft," he said. "Also, we're only halfway through free agency. Too many people only focus on the first 48 hours, but we're looking at the entire period."

The Lions became the first team in NFL history to finish 0-16 last season.

"There have been situations where we've had a chance to go after a bigger signing, but we can't put ourselves in a position where making one signing keeps us from making two more that we need to make," he said.

Information from ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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