After a busy offseason and what we consider to be a successful NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions still have cap space to improve the roster if they so choose.
One position the Detroit Lions need to consider adding some additional depth is the cornerback position. After moving on from All-Pro corner Darius Slay, the Lions added veteran Desmond Trufant, who had been released by the Atlanta Falcons.
Detroit also used the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on standout corner Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State. Okudah is expected to walk right in and be the teams’ top corner, and that is in no way shape or form throwing any disrespect towards Trufant, it’s a compliment towards Okudah and his skill-set, understanding how impactful Okudah was with the Buckeyes.
Despite losing a gifted player like Slay, the cornerback position will actually prove to be stronger in 2020 than it was in 2019.
Okudah will have the ability to cover a teams’ top receiver with stout man-to-man coverage, which will allow the Lions defense to roll coverage across the field to the opponents’ second and third options. Also, if Detroit’s coaching staff feels like it would be more useful to use Okudah to shadow the opponent’s second receiver and roll double coverage to the number one receiver.
So am I saying that Okudah is better than Slay? No. But Rashaan Melvin was Detroit’s outside corner opposite Slay last season. In 2020, it will be the former Pro Bowler in Trufant, who has plenty of tread left on his tires. Trufant will prove to be a significant upgrade to Melvin.
Hopefully, Justin Coleman bounces back in ’20 after a substandard first year in Detroit. The Detroit Lions may also see a player like Amani Oruwariye emerge as a starting candidate. That being said, there is no shame in admitting the organization should consider adding a couple of depth corners in case Oruwariye isn’t quite ready to step up as an every-down starter if injuries occur.