Lions bring in Maryland WR Torrey Smith for a close look
In the ongoing quest of the Detroit Lions to find a complementary target for the passing game, they’re bringing in Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith for an official visit today.
The Lions were in the same position a year ago when they picked up Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams to combine as a No. 3 receiver. The result? The pair combined for 21 receptions as Calvin Johnson continued to do his thing even though quarterback Matthew Stafford couldn’t remain on the field.
Nate Burleson made 55 receptions as a No. 2 receiver, solid production, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew emerged as one of the young forces at the position in the league. Still, the Lions want to add more weapons to the arsenal for what they hope will be a healthy Stafford.
“Offensively it’s a game of matchups,” general manager Martin Mayhew said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “If our third receiver can be better than their third corner, if we have somebody who can stretch the field that can allow Calvin (Johnson) to catch some balls in a deeper area of the field than what he normally would catch them in. He can make a big play if a guy can take the top off the defense and get safeties out of there and that kind of thing.”
Smith, at 6-1, 204 pounds, is one of the few bigger receivers in the draft with top speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds at the combine. But don’t confuse the top needs for this team. Detroit needs to fill gaping holes in the secondary and also look at linebacker and the offensive line.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune