The Detroit Lions will start training camp, and we are wrapping up our 2023 roster preview over the next few days. Today we will look at the secondary for the Lions, a position that Brad Holmes revamped for this season and appears to be far and away better than last year’s group. Let’s take a look at who will be at training camp later this week.
Detroit Lions Training Camp Roster Preview: Secondary
Moseley signed with the Detroit Lions this past offseason after playing the first five years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. Last season he only played in five games after suffering an injury; in those five games, he had one interception and recorded 22 total tackles. He was targeted 27 times and allowed 18 completions for 160 yards.
Sutton signed with the Detroit Lions after playing six years for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season he played in 16 games and had three interceptions, 15 pass deflections, and 43 total tackles. He was targeted 73 times and allowed 35 completions for 388 yards.
Walker was drafted by the Lions with the 82nd overall pick in the 2018 Draft. He is entering his sixth season with the Lions, and last year he played in only three games before being placed on the IR; in those three games, he didn’t record an interception; he had one sack and 20 total tackles. He was targeted four times and allowed just one completion for 13 yards.
Joseph was drafted by the Lions last season with the 97th overall pick. In his rookie season, he played in all 17 games recording four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 82 tackles. He was targeted 40 times last year and allowed 25 completions for 294 yards.
Garner-Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions after playing in the Super Bowl last season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year he played in 12 games for the Eagles, recording a career-high six interceptions and had 67 total tackles. He was targeted 52 times and allowed 38 completions for 446 yards.
Jacobs is entering his third season after being signed by the Lions as an Undrafted Free Agent. Last season Jacobs had a breakout season playing in 12 games; he had an interception, eight pass deflections, and 42 total tackles. He was targeted 60 times and allowed 32 completions for 358 yards.
Melifonwu was drafted by the Lions with the 101st pick in the 2021 Draft. He played in ten games last season and did not record an interception; he is still looking for his first career interception. He had two pass deflections last season with 14 total tackles; he was targeted six times and allowed four completions for 49 yards.
Branch was drafted by the Lions with the 45th overall pick in this year’s draft. Last season at Alabama, he played in 13 games recording 58 total tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections.
Harris was drafted by the Lions with the 81st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has played in 64 games over his four-year career. Last season he played in 15 games, recording one interception, four pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 57 total tackles. He was targeted 61 times and allowed 43 completions for 522 yards.
Breeze was drafted 215th in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and then signed with the Lions. He spent most of last season on the practice squad but did play in two games, with most of his snaps coming on Special Teams. He played 68% of the snaps on Special Teams and 3% of the snaps on Defense.
Smith was an undrafted free agent that has bounced around from team to team. Last season he played in one game for the Lions and recorded one tackle. He played in only 3% of the defensive snaps last year in that one game.
Joseph was signed by the Lions as an Undrafted Free Agent out of the University of Notre Dame. With the Irish last season, he played in ten games, recording 15 total tackles, one interception for a touchdown, one pass deflected, and a forced fumble.
Lucas was drafted by the Lions with the 237th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Last season in his rookie year, he played in six games, recording three total tackles. He was targeted once and allowed a completion for six yards. He played in 2% of snaps on defense but was in on 48% of the snaps for the Special Teams unit.
Dorsey has only played in the NFL in 2020, playing for the Baltimore Ravens. In that season, he played in six games, recording two total tackles; he was targeted once and allowed a completion for 39 yards. In that 2020 season, he played a total of five defensive snaps and 94 total snaps on Special Teams.
Gilmore was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent by the Detroit Lions out of Marshall University. He played five seasons with the Thundering Herd, and last season he played in 13 games recording 25 total tackles, three interceptions, a touchdown, and ten pass deflections.
Starling Thomas V
Thomas was also signed as an Undrafted Free Agent by Detroit out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham or UAB. Last season for the Blazers, he played in 13 games, recording 20 total tackles, one tackle for a loss, and 15 pass deflections. He also had a rushing attempt last season in which he ran for six yards.
Williams signed with the Lions prior to last season after two years with the New York Giants. Williams spent a lot of last season on the Practice Squad, but he did play in two games, with all of his snaps coming on special teams playing 19 snaps total. His best season was in 2021 when he played in six games for the Giants and had a pass deflection and 18 total tackles.
Bottom Line: Detroit Lions revamped their Secondary
The Detroit Lions secondary is one of the most exciting groups entering the 2023 season. They made a lot of additions to this unit that has made the Detroit Lions' 2023 expectations very high. Last season they allowed an average of 245.8 yards a game in the passing game, which is the third highest in the league, but they went out and added Moseley, Sutton, and Gardner-Johnson, as well as losing a few.
The Lions' secondary with get their first test right out of the gate facing the Chiefs, who love to throw the ball, and then they’ll have to deal with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Davante Adams, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Michael Thomas, Jerry Jeudy, Ceedee Lamb, and Justin Jefferson twice throughout the season. It’ll be interesting to see how the depth chart lines up heading into Week 1 of the 2023 season and who gets the nod to start.