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NFC North Quick Hits: Thursday

4/19/2012

The newsbits were flying Thursday afternoon in the NFC North. Noting outrageous, but all worth a mention. Let's do just that in quick-hitting fashion.

Item: Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he's narrowed down his options for the No. 3 overall pick to three players: USC left tackle Matt Kalil, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Comment: The only news there is that Spielman has apparently eliminated Alabama running back Trent Richardson, a player believed to be coveted by the Cleveland Browns at No. 4. Spielman said that Kalil, Blackmon and Claiborne all grade out equally as prospects. I have a hard time believing that.

Item: The Chicago Bears signed free-agent linebacker Geno Hayes.

Comment: The Bears were in fact trying to add depth at the position before the draft. Hayes has played four years but is still only 24.

Item: Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said he has narrowed his options at No. 23 to between four and seven players.

Comment: That's about as much pre-draft insight as you'll get from Mayhew, who went out of his way to note how delicate information is when picking at the bottom of the first round.

Item: Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson told reporters that he is comfortable in not knowing the future of safety Nick Collins until after the draft.

Comment: It's probably safe to assume Thompson has sized up how his roster would look without Collins and has made his draft plans accordingly just to be safe.