Detroit Lions: Dunbar adds a much-needed veteran presence to secondary

Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Quinton Dunbar adds much-needed depth and experience to a youthful Detroit Lions secondary.

At one time, the Detroit Lions secondary was a strength of the defense anchored by All-Pro Darius Slay, along with Glover Quin, and Quandre Diggs.

Things started to implode under Matt Patricia despite being considered by some as a defensive ‘genius.’  In fact, the Lions seemingly continued to get worse year after year until the wheels finally fell completely off midway through the 2020 season.

Under the new regime, the Detroit Lions organization have continued to overhaul their roster. They’ve continued to add youthful pieces, players with upside, or players that will serve as role players.  Plus, general manager Brad Holmes has continued to be conscious of prioritizing their future by acquiring draft capital along the way.

Quinton Dunbar signs a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

This signing of veteran corner Dunbar won’t move the needle much for many fans, but it’s one of those depth signings that will serve a purpose.  The Lions needed to add a veteran cornerback to help stabilize the position.

Detroit is expected to start its second-year corner Jeff Okudah who the organization spent the third overall pick on in the 2020 NFL Draft.  He will likely start opposite third-year man Amani Oruwariye, the Lions’ best corner last season.

Mike Ford is the only other cornerback returning to Detroit from last season.  Ford helped the team immensely as a contributor on special teams and filled in on the first-team defense as injuries continued to hamper the franchise.

The trio of young cornerbacks has plenty of upside at the position. Still, after waiving a couple of veterans, polished players in Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman earlier this offseason, it had been a group that needed a veteran presence.

Dunbar isn’t the only corner recently signed by the Lions.  The organization also added slot corner Corn Elder.

Dunbar stands 6-foot-2 and is primarily an outside corner who will be slotted in behind the aforementioned Oruwariye and Okudah.  The soon-to-be 29-year old is looking for a fresh start coming off of a career-worst Pro Football Focus (PFF) rating of just 47.7 with the Seattle Seahawks.

That number fits right in with what Detroit achieved last season, but clearly not good enough.  It was Dunbar’s first season away from Washington where he proved to be a valuable asset the previous five seasons.

We’re just a year removed from Dunbar, posting a career-high overall rating of 87.5 and 89.5 grade in coverage.  That while playing a career-most 613 defensive snaps, there is reason to be optimistic if you’re a fan of the Detroit Lions.

He recorded one interception in six games last season and has 10 career picks throughout 64 games.

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Dunbar has battled a hamstring injury plus a knee injury over the past two seasons.  The veteran corner will be reunited with Washington’s former defensive quality control coach, Aubrey Pleasant, who is now Detroit’s secondary coach.