We're Black and Blue All Over:
In our pre-draft Inside Slant podcast, Mike Sando and I agreed it would not be surprising if the Detroit Lions used a draft pick on a tight end.
While they are set for the 2013 season with Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, both incumbents are entering the final year of their contracts. It's reasonable to expect the Lions to re-sign one but probably not both for 2014.
The Lions did in fact draft a tight end. Alabama's 278-pound Michael Williams, taken in the seventh round, was considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the draft. The Lions didn't acquire anyone who seems equipped to take on a pass-catching role in their offense, but as Chris McCosky of the Detroit News points out, the Lions are making considerations elsewhere. They have converted receiver Dominique Curry, who spent 2010-11 with the St. Louis Rams, to tight end. I'm not sure how reasonable it is to expect Curry to contribute at the position in 2013 and beyond, but it illustrates the Lions' recognition of the future need they have at tight end.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Lions are not concerned about the weight of third-round guard Larry Warford, who got as heavy as 350 pounds as a senior at Kentucky. Justin Rogers of Mlive.com has more.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on the team's new emphasis on offensive lineman and pass protection, via ESPNChicago.com: "It's definitely a point of emphasis. We're not going to let the quarterback get hit. We're not going to go into games unsure about protections."
The Bears are hoping for good things from rookie free agent Zach Minter, a defensive tackle from Montana, writes Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles Green Bay Packers draft pick Nate Palmer, an outside linebacker from Illinois State.
Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a look at another Packers draft pick, defensive lineman Josh Boyd.
Here is a list of the 16 undrafted free agents the Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with, via Vikings.com.
Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press checks in with new Vikings backup quarterback Matt Cassel.
Early reviews of the Vikings' stadium design have sparked hopes and fears, according to Doug Belden of the Pioneer Press.