WR David Douglas and OT Kevin Murphy visit Lions

Posted Apr 11, 2012

Former Arizona receiver David Douglas always wondered what it would be like to catch passes from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. That curiosity began for Douglas as a sophomore at McKinney North High School just outside Dallas, Texas, in 2005.

Stafford, who was a senior quarterback at Highland Park High at the time, led Highland Park to a blow-out victory over McKinney North in the Texas state playoffs at Texas Stadium that year. Stafford was ranked as the best prep passer in the country by at the time.

Douglas said Stafford made one of the best plays he’s ever seen.

“I remember him scrambling out to the right and he avoided a sack and pretty much threw it off his back foot to the left corner of the end zone about 55 or 60 yards,” Douglas said while on a pre-draft visit with the Lions Wednesday. “It was the most ridiculous play I’ve ever seen. He’s a stud.”

Stafford went to Georgia and the NFL and Douglas became a receiver at Arizona three years later. He's now going through the NFL pre-draft process.

Douglas was reminded of that game seven years ago being at the Lions’ training facility and talking with Lions coaches about the Stafford-led offense.

Douglas was Arizona’s second-leading receiver last year with 65 catches for 666 yards and four touchdowns. He’s seen his draft stock rise considerably since Arizona’s Pro Day on March 19, when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds, bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times and had a 37-inch vertical.

“That’s certainly when I started to get the attention,” Douglas said. “I ran a good 40 time and I ran good routes and was able to throw up the bench press, so I started to get more attention after that.”

Douglas (6-0, 205) played every receiver position at Arizona and says his best attribute moving on to the NFL is his versatility.

“I started every receiver position from inside to outside in college and I feel I can play anywhere as receiver goes,” he said. “I think I bring a lot of versatility to the table.”

The Lions have a need for a fourth receiver behind Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Titus Young, and would also like to bolster its special team's.

Douglas has experience returning kicks and playing on coverage units.  

Some draft analysts think Douglas’ Pro Day worked him in to the later rounds of the draft.

Who knows, maybe he’ll get that chance to catch a few fast balls from Stafford after all.

Kevin Murphy out to prove Harvard has talent

Kevin Murphy hopes to one day have a career in biomechanics, and he’s off to a pretty good start having studied at Harvard.

But Murphy wouldn’t mind that biomechanics career being postponed for, say, 10 to 15 years, because of a career in the NFL.

Murphy, who played left tackle on the Harvard football team, also visited the Lions' Allen Park practice faciltity Wednesday as one the teams allotted 30 pre-draft visits.

Harvard isn’t a hot bed for NFL talent, but Murphy says he’s inspired by Ravens center Matt Birk, who’s parlayed a Harvard degree into six NFL Pro Bowl seasons.

“Matt and I have the same agent and I’ve been able to talk to him and just listen to his side of things,” Murphy said. “Not a lot of people associate Harvard football with the NFL and talking with him gave me more confidence than anything.”

Murphy was converted from tight end to tackle in high school and became one of the best tackles in Ivy League history over the last couple years. He stands 6-foot-7 and weights 305 pounds, but says his athleticism from his days as a tight end is what sets him apart.

“I think it gave me those developmental years to become more athletic, especially in high school,” he said. “Not a lot of high school lineman are known as being athletic and that was one thing that was attractive to a lot of college coaches.”

Analysts don’t project Murphy to be selected later this month in the draft. If he isn’t drafted, his size and athleticism certainly make him a free agent candidate and someone who can compete in training camp.