Sep 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; A detailed view of a Detroit Lions helmet before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Scanning the Savanna: Detroit Lions News from Around the Web

Scanning the Savanna searches the web for Detroit Lions news and notes each morning and brings it to your fingertips in one easy location.

Morning Roar: Reviewing high school ranks
Michael Rothstein – ESPN.com

But the talent evaluation and the development of players led to a small project I worked on Wednesday looking at where the Lions were ranked coming out of high school.

Heading into the research, I’ve never been a big believer in the star rankings. As I learned covering colleges for a decade, the rule of thumb is always that a third of highly ranked prospects become sure-fire NFL stars. A third end up being good college players and reach the league and a third never get anywhere close.

Then I took at the Lions and the results were surprising. Here’s a look at the Lions’ rankings on offense and the Lions’ rankings on defense.

On offense, other than Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson, few Detroit players were in the top 20 at their position when they came out of high school.

NFLPA head: Former Detroit Lion Jahvid Best’s suit ‘interesting’
Dave Birkett – Detroit Free Press

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said Jahvid Best’s lawsuit against the league is “interesting,” but otherwise declined to comment about the 90-page complaint filed last week by the former Lions running back.

“You know that I’m a litigator by trade, so I don’t usually weigh in on big themes on big cases,” Smith said on the red carpet at the NFL honors show Saturday. “I haven’t read it, so I’m not going to really comment on it in a detailed way, but interesting.”

Former QB greats still see greatness in Lions’ Matthew Stafford, but he needs the right coaching
Kyle Meinke – MLive.com

Troy Aikman knows all about Matthew Stafford.

He remembers walking into a Highland Park Starbucks in suburban Dallas in 2005, and a guy in line raving about the quarterback at the local public high school. Aikman didn’t think twice about the remark, until he heard Stafford was the No. 1-ranked quarterback in the country and had signed to play for Georgia.

“I said, ‘Georgia? What in the hell is he going to Georgia for?'” Aikman told MLive last week during Super Bowl festivities in New York. “I followed him when he went to Georgia, and watched him. Then after his freshman year, I was at this Mexican place — Mi Cocina — in Highland Park. I’m having dinner with my daughters, and this guy walks up to me and sticks out his hand.

“He says, ‘Mr. Aikman, I’m Matthew Stafford.’ So that’s the first time I met him, and we struck up a friendship.”

5 Cuts That Could Create Serious Cap Room for the Detroit Lions
Jeff Risdon — Bleacher Report

As it stands now, the Detroit Lions are in serious salary-cap trouble. Per OverTheCap, the Lions have over $131 million committed to 52 players currently on the 2014 roster, while the cap is projected to be around $126 million.

Some of the overage will be remedied with a contract extension to Ndamukong Suh. A potential contract restructure for Calvin Johnson would also free up quite a bit of immediate cash.

Another way to free up much-needed cap space is to cut overpaid veterans.

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