April 20: Big news out of Detroit is that the Lions will be unveiling a new logo and team uniforms later today; it won’t make the same headlines but the Lions are also expected to intensify negotiations with potential players for the #1 pick at Saturday‘s draft. Georgia QB Matthew Stafford is still heavy favorite to get the nod from the Lions, although OTs Jason Smith of Baylor and Eugene Monroe of Virginia and Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry are reportedly still be ing considered. Interestingly, new head coach Jim Schwartz‘ only comments after the Lions‘ minicamp this weekend that might be construed as tipping the Lions‘ hand was that the dfefense needed a real ‘thumper‘ at MLB. What wasn‘t clear whether Schwartz was thinking of Curry for the #1 pick, or more likely someone like USC’s Rey Maualuga with the Lions’ second first rounder, the 20th overall… Also interesting to read comments by Baylor’s Smith in the St. Louis papers after the Rams had Smith, Monroe and Ole Miss’ Michael Oher, 3 of the top 4 OTs in this year’s draft, in for a couple of days of visits last week. Smith, in particular, didn’t sound like someone who expected to be off the board by the time the Rams made the second pick… More evidence that this year’s draft isn’t all that strong. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, whose Green Bay Packers need an OT this year, did a survey of NFL personnel people and came to the conclusion that none of this year’s to players at the position would necessarily have rated that highly in other years. According to one scout (Charles Fisher of Seattle) quoted, for example, "In another draft none of these guys would be top five. They're good players, but I wouldn't consider any of these guys as pure franchise cornerstones. Branden Albert (the 15th player taken in 2008 by Kansas City) was more athletic than any of these guys." Added Trent Baalke, San Francisco's director of player personnel. "I like the group, but it's like the wide-receiver group: there's something in each one of them that makes you uneasy." In the end, Baylor’s Jason Smith edged out Eugene Monroe as the best OT prospect with Andre Smith not that far behind, although Monroe was considered the safest and Alabama’s Smith the most likely to be a bust… Meanwhile, not much percolating on the veteran trade front, although Philadelphia is at least publicly not ruling out using the 21st pick to go after a veteran WR such as Arizona’ Anquan Boldn. After the Eagles landed OT Jason Peters from Buffalo for a package including the 28th pick this year, the popular assumption was that Philadelphia was done trading and instead would use their remaining #1 pick on a back. Looks to us though like the Eagles are looking to make one final big run before QB Donovan McNabb runs out of football legs and the team still doesn’t have a legit go-to target so using their remaining first and third round picks to acquire a veteran receiver and then taking a RB with their #2 pick still seems to make a lot of sense for Philadelphia… Every year, NFL teams will end up looking at a handful of individuals who primarily, or even exclusively, played other sports, as potential pro prospects. Guys who have gotten such looks this year include Cleveland State basketball player Jonathan Bulloch, a 6-4 PF who is being looked at as a possible TE, along with former Minnesota NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Cole Konrad who reportedly impressed at a work out for the Vikings late last week. Former North Carolina PG Greg Paulus, a one-time star prep QB from the football Paulus family, worked out with several NFL teams this spring and appears to have ended up in Michigan, but in Ann Arbor not Detroit, where he will reportedly be given a shot at playing QB. Paulus has one year of college football eligibility left.