INDIANAPOLIS – Military connections: When the Lions sat down with Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson here at the NFL Scouting Combine the conversation turned toward his father and Simpson's military upbringing, he said Wednesday. His dad Timothy D. Simpson was an army ranger who spent 26 years in the military and was deployed 17 different times. The younger Simpson is one of the best linebackers in this draft, a versatile player who said he'll run in the 4.4 range in the 40 this week. He's an impressive young man on and off the field. He graduated from Clemson in three years. He said being on time is one of the things his father stressed the most to him growing up.
Brotherly love: Linebacker Noah Sewell, younger brother of Lions Pro Bowl right tackle Penei Sewell, said it would be a blessing if the Lions drafted him and he could play with his older brother. They'd obviously be on separate sides of the ball, but Noah said Wednesday he'd be able to beat Penei to the quarterback here and there if they were matched up in practice. A former quarterback and slot receiver, Noah was extremely confident he has the better set of hands.
Wingspan: Tyree Wilson is one of the top overall athletes in the draft. The Texas Tech pass rusher is a potential player who could interest the Lions at No. 6. He's 6-foot-6, 275 pounds and has an 86-inch wingspan, which he showed off Wednesday when speaking to the media.
NFC North: A couple quick headlines from around the NFC North. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said they are hopeful to have some answers from QB Aaron Rodgers and his future plans before the start of free agency in mid-March but there's no formal deadline on the situation. Gutekunst did say the team feels QB Jordan Love is ready to be a starter. Bears GM Ryan Poles said the team is leaning toward trading the No. 1 pick right now because of the confidence they have in QB Justin Fields going into his third season and the assets they could gain with such a move.
Trading within the division: Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah when asked about recent trades within the division with GM Brad Holmes and the Lions:
"I know that, ultimately, your first path to the playoffs is winning your division, right? So you never want, obviously, make your division stronger," Adofo-Mensah said Tuesday. "But ultimately, the best path I have to the playoffs is putting the best team on the field. So that's where that starts.
"Brad and I have a really good relationship. You can do trades where both sides kind of know what their interests are and both can win ... I plan on being in this business more than one year, and I want to be able to pick up the phone and call people and do those things. That's how I dealt in this business, that's how I dealt in Wall Street."
Second sports: Clemson defensive lineman Myles Murphy thinks he could have been a professional baseball player had he not chosen football exclusively as a sophomore in high school. Murphy was a 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher who could throw a 90 MPH fastball at 15 years old.
Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness was an accomplished hockey player in high school, which is a bit unusual for a big-time football player. His team made it to the state semifinal his senior season. Van Ness was an enforcer on the ice and said he led his league in penalty minutes. That's not surprising.
Michigan men: Michigan edge rusher Mike Morris is trying to follow in the footsteps of former Michigan and current Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson in taking his career to the next level. Asked Wednesday about Hutchinson, Morris said the things he learned the most from Hutchinson were attention to detail, his film study and finding time for meditation.
Breaking news: About 18 minutes before Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was supposed to talk to media Wednesday, news broke that there's an arrest warrant out for him. The Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Police Department announced Wednesday that Carter has been charged with reckless driving and racing. Carter did not speak to the media Wednesday.