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After a dismal start to the 2022 NFL season, the Detroit Lions managed to turn things around over the final 10 games. Despite the improvement, the Lions' defense still finished as one of the worst units in the league, with their secondary being particularly shaky. With the offseason upon us, the Lions' front office is keen to address this weakness and shore up the secondary by adding a starting cornerback or two in free agency. In this article, we'll take a look at three potential cornerbacks who could help solidify the Lions' defensive backfield and take their defense to the next level.
3 CBs that could solidify the Detroit Lions' secondary
Don't be surprised if the Lions sign one of these cornerbacks during the first week of free agency.
Jamel Dean – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While Jamel Dean may be one of the most sought-after cornerbacks in this year's free agency class, his price tag may be too steep for the Lions. Nevertheless, the Lions would be wise to consider him. Dean occasionally takes risks when jumping routes, and this aggressiveness can backfire, leading to explosive receptions over the top. However, his imposing size, impressive athleticism, and physicality at the line of scrimmage make him an excellent disruptor of opposing wide receivers' releases, which has caught the attention of many teams. While he may not possess exceptional ball skills, having only two interceptions on the year, he can still hold his own against many of the league's top big-bodied receivers. Although he may be a bit stiff in the hips, it is nitpicking when it comes to a player with Dean's caliber.
James Bradberry – Philadelphia Eagles
For the Detroit Lions, adding a Super Bowl-winning cornerback who can immediately step in as a starter would be a major coup. James Bradberry, currently with the Philadelphia Eagles, is an excellent candidate for the job. His 46.0% completion percentage allowed was the fourth-best among all cornerbacks during the 2022 regular season, while his 19 forced incompletions ranked second. While Bradberry may be better suited as a No. 2 corner after years of proving himself as a reliable No. 1, there is sure to be a high demand for his services, thanks to his adaptability, dependability, and consistency throughout his NFL career. In fact, this past season marked Bradberry's fourth consecutive campaign with over 1,000 snaps played, which speaks to his durability and endurance.
Cameron Sutton – Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite playing on a vulnerable Pittsburgh coverage unit in the 2022 season, Sutton managed to excel as a full-time starter on the outside, showcasing his skills for the second year in a row. Sutton earned a solid 71.0 coverage grade and allowed only 411 receiving yards, placing him among the top nine cornerbacks who had at least 400 coverage snaps during the season. Sutton's versatility as a defensive back who can line up in the slot adds more value to his potential suitors. With this skill, he can play multiple positions in the secondary when required, making him an attractive option for teams looking to bolster their defense.
Bottom Line: Detroit Lions MUST add a cornerback or two this offseason
The Detroit Lions had a poor start to the 2022 NFL season but managed to improve over the final 10 games. Despite this improvement, their defense still finished as one of the worst units in the league, with their secondary being particularly shaky. With the offseason underway, the Lions are looking to address this weakness by adding a starting cornerback or two in free agency. In this article, three potential cornerbacks who could help solidify the Lions' defensive backfield are discussed: Jamel Dean of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, James Bradberry of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Cameron Sutton of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each of these players brings unique strengths to the table, making them valuable additions to the team.