Detroit Lions: Cornerback Situation Still Unsettled


Football season is right around the corner!

Okay, not really, there’s still about four months to go, the rest of basketball season and about half of baseball season but don’t steal my joy. Nevertheless, there’s reason to be excited about Lions football.

With all the additions and subtractions the Detroit Lions have endured this offseason, the most interesting has been at cornerback.

Plenty of fans and “NFL experts” have been practically screaming at the Lions front office to draft or sign a respectable cornerback. Detroit has been no stranger to watching their backs get torched, not turn their heads around or whiff on tackles. Since 2010 Detroit’s pass defense has been 16th, 22nd, 14th, 23rd and 13th, not terrible but not very good either.

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Currently, the Lions cornerbacks are: Rashean Mathis, Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Bill Bentley, Alex Carter, Mohammed Seisay, Quandre Diggs, Crezdon Butler and Josh Wilson.

Injuries have been part of the problem for Detroit, Bentley and Lawson went down early last season, forcing inexperienced players to take on a larger roll. For the most part it worked, primarily because of the teams dominant defensive line and linebackers helped alleviate some pressure on the secondary.

The team’s front four has a different look and it is unclear of whether or not they will be the same force they were last year. Should the d-line falter a bit, it’s important to know if the secondary can be trusted for 60 minutes.

There are two things we know about Detroit’s secondary. One is third-year man Darius Slay will be “that guy” for Detroit. Following a much improved second year, where we saw him deflect 18 passes, record 47 tackles while getting two interceptions, more of the same is to be expected of him.

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  • The second thing we know is Rashean Mathis will start opposite Slay. He can still be productive and a mentor to the younger backs but the concern with Mathis is, he’s 35 and nobody knows if he can endure a long 16 game season and still be productive.

    The rest is a question mark. We have no idea how good Bentley is because he’s always sidelined and Seisay was not exactly a stud when he hit the field.

    So, how does drafting a third and six round picks help the confidence of Lions fans?

    A positive is only Cater and Diggs have zero NFL experience on the roster. Another positive is the team went out and signed veteran Josh Wilson who has not missed a game in the past four seasons. Butler who is a journeyman has some minutes under his belt can assist in the development of Carter and Diggs.

    You have to believe Slay will repeat, if not heighten his level of play this season, Bill Bentley will stay healthy and be of some value for Detroit. Positive reports have out of camp that Diggs is an “aggressive player” that he’s “versatile” and “mature beyond his years.”

    The Detroit Lions cornerback situation boils down to one thing: hope. You have to hope the competition at the position brings out the best in the players. You have to hope Slay can continue to play well and you have to hope the group stays healthy.

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