For the second time this week, the Lions hosted a trio of pre-draft prospects at Allen Park.
Whether it was being put in foster care as a child, or battling injuries and the coaching carousel at USC last season, Marqise Lee is used to adversity.
“You learn to remain positive at the end of the day,” Lee told detroitlions.com during a pre-draft visit to Allen Park on Thursday. “As far as the injuries, it doesn’t matter if you get hurt or not. There are still some things you can work on even though you’re not on the field. You can still help even though you’re not helping on the field.”
Lee suffered a knee injury early last year that hampered him most of the year.
After catching 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012 to earn unanimous All-American honors and the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college football, Lee’s numbers dipped last season to 57 catches for 791 yards and four touchdowns.
Lee, who’s still considered one of the top five receivers available in next month’s draft and a likely first-round pick, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He also had a 38-inch vertical and the third-best broad jump among receivers at 10’7’’.
He says joining a Detroit team with the likes of
Asked the best word to describe his game, Lee used reliable, which is something the Lions could use more of.
“When you talk about reliable it’s more on and off the field,” Lee said. “No issues coming back to the organization. You’re not hearing anything negative as far as Marqise.
“On the field, important play, just me being responsible to catch it, knowing how important it is. Just having the team trust in me.”
The Lions re-signed tight end
Former Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, who the Lions also hosted on a pre-draft visit Thursday, has been described in the same manor.
Fiedorowicz, 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, is a very good in-line blocker and an underrated pass catcher. He caught 30 passes for 299 yards and six touchdowns last year, which came on the heels of a 45-catch, 433-yard junior season.
“That’s only going to help your team if you can get in there and throw off the defense. They see me come in and think we’re going to run the ball and they’re destroying the defensive end but then we’re throwing the ball,” Fiedorowicz said
“People saw me as a blocker at Iowa, but I think the Senior Bowl kind of proved I can be a receiver as well.”
Maybe the most impressive thing about Fiedorowicz’s Iowa career is that he played in every game and was never listed with an injury.
“It shows I’m very durable, obviously,” he said. “It’s a big tribute to me taking care of my body. Before practice I’ll be in there a half hour or 45 minutes early, whether it’s rolling out or stretching afterward or getting in cold tub."
Former Mississippi State defensive end Denico Autry was on the bubble for an invite to February’s NFL Scouting Combine.
That bubble burst, however, and he didn’t get an invite.
The 6-foot-5, 273 pound edge rusher has used that snub as motivation ever since.
“That’s all it is, motivation,” he said Thursday. “I’ve just used it as fuel to get better, stronger and faster.”
Autry recorded 31 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, eight quarterback hits and a forced fumble in the SEC last year.
For his career, Autry had 72 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, five sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles in 25 career games at Mississippi State after transferring from East Mississippi Community College.
Autry is raw, but the Lions have kept tabs on him ever since his Pro Day and are no doubt intrigued by his speed and athleticism coming off the edge.