Give the Lions and general manager Martin Mayhew credit on two fronts — they’re giving their due diligence to owning the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, and they’re not tipping their hand as to who they will take in a class that many agree has no consensus No. 1.
The Lions have hosted visits with three prospective top picks. Georgia QB Matthew Stafford and former Baylor OT Jason Smith visited Motown last week, and former Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry visited yesterday.
Next up is former Boston College DT B.J. Raji. The 6-foot-2, 337-pounder is scheduled to visit the Lions on Wednesday.
Raji is a consensus pick among the NFL.com mock drafts at the top of the first round. Charles Davis has Raji going at No. 12 to the Broncos. So does Pat Kirwan in the third edition of his mock draft, and Steve Wyche in his latest mock. Jamie Dukes has him slated at No. 8 to the Jaguars.
Maybe the visit is a smoke screen. Maybe the Lions — who own three of the top 33 picks in the draft (Nos. 1, 20 and 33) — are really considering Raji with the first pick or interested enough that they would put themselves in position to take him later. The Lions acquired former Pro Bowl LB Julian Peterson from the Seattle Seahawks for DT Cory Redding and a 2009 fifth-round draft choice late last week, fueling speculation that Curry wouldn’t be Detroit’s choice with the top pick.
Maybe we’ll have to wait and see.