As we near free agency, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn will be looking for upgrades at multiple positions in the defensive secondary.
The Detroit Lions return several defensive backs, by far the most intact unit on the team. All starters will be back, including cornerbacks Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson, nickelback Quandre Diggs, as well as safeties Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson. Johnson Bademosi and Don Carey will once again be fixtures on special teams as well as primary backups.
Rookies Miles Killebrew, Adarius Barnes, Ian Wells (injured reserve in 2016) and Charles Washington (futures deal) will look to expand their roles in their second seasons. Alex Carter rounds out the group of 12 and will once again be given a shot to see if his physical traits will translate to the field.
The Lions defense finished the season in the middle of the league in several passing categories, like total yards allowed (19th) and turnovers (23rd). But they finished as one of the bottom five teams in completion percentage allowed (72.7%, 32nd), passer rating (106.5, 32nd), passing touchdowns (33, 31st), completions (399, 29th).
It can be argued, that some of these negative stats can be attributed to a lack of pass rush from the front seven, that forced the defensive backs to cover for extended periods of time. And despite the poor performances statically, the secondary did positively impact games. Including, having four game winning interceptions: Slay vs Philadelphia, Bush vs Los Angeles Rams, Wilson vs Jacksonville, and Slay again, this time vs Minnesota.
Big plays aside, the bottom line is, they weren’t good enough overall and changes can be expected to be forthcoming.