Quick hits: A new linebacker, two rookies visit and Derrick Harvey is a pipe dream

On Tuesday, the Lions signed free agent linebacker Gilbert Gardner, who played with the Titans in 2007.

Though the Lions do need a linebacker or three, this signing is strictly a move to help shore up Detroit’s awful special teams. Gardner is a career backup as a linebacker, but has made a name for himself on special teams. We all remember the special teams debacle during the Cowboys game in week 14. The Lions’ kick coverage was so bad, Rod Marinelli essentially gave up, and had Jason Hanson pooch his kickoffs. At least the Lions realize there is an issue, and are attempting to fix it, unlike other areas of the team. //cough//right tackle//cough// It remains to be seen if players like Gardner, and earlier free agent signee Kalvin Pearson, will cure what ails the Detroit special teams. But it’s a start.

The Lions visited with Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo and Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus at their Allen Park HQ this week.

Neither of Mayo or Cherilus are worthy of the 15th overall pick. But they do play positions of dire need, and could slide down to the Lions in the 2nd round. In most mock drafts floating around these here internets, both players are considered low 1st, to early 2nd round, picks at best. The porn ‘stached goon has a history of trading up in the draft, so it’s quite possible Mayo and Cherilus are on the Lions’ radar. So this is the Lions doing their due diligence. Let’s hope the Lions’ version of due diligence is enough.

The Freep’s beat writer, Nick Cotsonika, participated in a mock draft on ESPN’s Skip Bayless filled torture fest, Cold Pizza First Take. His pick? Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey.

As if that’s ever going to happen. Cotsonika but it bluntly, “I don’t think Harvey will get out of the top 10 in the real draft.” Neither do I. Talented defensive ends don’t stay on the board very long in the NFL draft, and Harvey draft stock has taken off. I could very easily see Marinelli jumping all over Harvey if he’s on the board at 15, and wouldn’t blame him. But it’s a pipe dream. The likely scenario would be the Lions having their choice of one of the following four players: Offensive tackles Chris Williams and Jeff Otah, and running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Stewart. I hope it’s a tackle. Please let it be a tackle. I’m begging you, I don’t care which one it is, just take a tackle!

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