Detroit Lions: To draft or not to draft a CB

With ten picks in the upcoming NFL draft, the Detroit Lions will be able to attack their weaknesses and build depth at multiple positions. The Lions may appear to be insufficient at the corner spot, but in actuality, the team has quite a bit of depth behind returning starters Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, and Quandre Diggs. After the recent signing of Johnson Bademosi and a now healthy Alex Carter, the Lions have five cornerbacks already projected to make the team, not to mention darkhorse candidates Crezdon Butler and Darrin Walls. The last few years, the Lions have only rostered five corners for a majority of the season.

It would be difficult to imagine any of the aforementioned top five corners to not make the team next fall. Diggs and Lawson, yet both undersized, played very well in their complimentary roles to the one roster lock, Darius Slay. Bademosi was just recently made the highest paid special teamer in the NFL, so don’t expect him to be let go. Carter, 21, was a third-round pick from just a year ago and should make the team off that fact alone.

When head coach Jim Caldwell was asked about the athletically gifted Carter, he had some reasonable expectations of what he would like to see out of the Standford product.

Per  of Detroit Free Press,

“We’re not expecting miracles,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said at the NFL’s annual spring meetings last week. “But we certainly are expecting him to improve.”

“He’s got talent, he’s got ability and he’s a big corner,” Caldwell said. “And he comes from a very, very challenging environment, both athletically and academically. Yeah, I’m hopeful that this will be a great off-season for him.”

If the Lions were to draft a corner, who would be the odd man out? Could they carry six CBs? If so, there would need to be another position which would have to cut back. Bademosi could possibly replace the 5th safety/DB that Don Carey has manned the last five years, opening up another spot for a rookie corner. The Lions currently have Glover Quin, Rafael Bush, Tavon Wilson, Isaiah Johnson and Don Carey competing at safety. With the close attention the Lions have given to multiple safeties in the draft process (i.e. Justin Simmons and Vonn Bell), it is apparent that they are interested in adding a young strong safety to pair next to Quinn.

All in all, if a corner and/or safety are drafted within one of the first five rounds of the 2016 NFL draft, one or two current 2nd string DBs will not make the cut. More than likely, all ten draftees will not make the 53-man roster, but an addition in the defensive backfield will doom one, if not two, incumbents. Look at it this way, there are only ten roster spots for all the DBs, and as of now, the Lions are already over that number even before the draft. There will be some tough decisions to be made with all the depth the Lions possess in the defensive backfield – just the way Bob Quinn likes it.

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