The Detroit Lions have been busy boosting up their defense during the 2023 NFL offseason, and the biggest moves the team has made has involved spending on the cornerback position.
With the addition of Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley, the Lions are no longer weak at one of the most important spots on their roster ahead of the draft, and the move to sign proven players at the position seems smart.
After a 9-8 season, the Lions are trying to take the next step, so they added a pair of players from winning organizations in Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley. Sutton had starred with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Moseley with the San Francisco 49ers, but now both are coming to the team.
The impact of signing a player like Sutton is something that can almost not be measured given all the intangibles he brings to the mix, but it’s clear the Lions have scored in a big way by getting him to the roster.
Speaking during the NFL owners meetings in Arizona on Monday, March 27, DetroitLions.com reporter Tim Twentyman caught up with Sutton’s former coach Mike Tomlin. As he explained, Sutton’s smarts as well as his talent make him stand out on the field.
“The first thing I think about is his above-the-neck game, his maturity and his preparation. But, in stating that first, you’re almost disrespectful to his talent. He’s a talented guy. But beyond that, I think the things that are his calling cards are his intellect and his prep, his communication skills. I just think it allows him to be versatile. He does a good job of getting people around him on the same page and I’d imagine those are skills that are going to travel,” Tomlin said in Twentyman’s piece.
After he signed with the Lions, it became obvious quickly how much Sutton meant to the team, an opinion that was quickly shared by Cameron Heyward, who praised the cornerback’s overall impact for Pittsburgh.
“I really like Cam Sutton. He’s a free agent this year. There’s so many different things Cam does that go unnoticed. He can play nickel, he can play outside, he can play the dime. The fact that you can move him around, and he plays with a little bit of a mean streak, he’s a guy I really do appreciate,” Heyward says in a clip, posted by Dave Dameshek of NFL.com on Twitter.
Hearing Tomlin share his take on top of this should only make Lions fans feen better about the situation. The team has needed a true quarterback of the defense, and it certainly sounds as if Sutton will be able to provide that in a big way, along with some big plays.
It was a good start for the team, but in Moseley, it seems there is even more good news to be shared about the team’s commitment to the position.
Emmanuel Moseley Earns Praise From DeMeco Ryans
As it relates to Moseley, the Lions also scored a major difference maker when they signed the cornerback early in the free agency process.
While Moseley is coming off a major ACL injury, he should be ready to play a big role on defense by the time the season begins. When he does see the field, the Lions can be expected to net a positive in terms of what their new cornerback brings to the mix.
Twentyman spoke with former 49ers’ defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who coached Moseley before departing to lead the Houston Texans. As Ryans explained, Moseley’s calling card is not only his toughness and ability, but his ability to scrap for everything he has earned thus far in the league.
“In Emmanuel, Detroit is getting a tough, hard-nosed corner,” Ryans said. “EMan is battle-tested. He’s played in big games, he’s played on the big stage and he has big-time playmaking ability. I’m happy for EMan. To see him go from undrafted free agent and to battle – and he’s gone through ups and downs through his career with injuries – I’m happy to see him get a shot there in Detroit,” Ryans said in Twentyman’s piece.
Moseley will not only get a shot, but he will be one of the players the Lions are set to rely on heavily as they begin the season in August. The hope is he can be a player that the team counts on for multiple big plays.
As Ryans explained, it sounds like character is going to be on Detroit’s side when it comes to what they will get from Moseley. That’s good news for the Lions’ defense.
Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley Bring Production to Lions
As the stats show, the Lions may have scored in a big way by adding their new duo to the mix. That’s especially true when looking at the production that have come to define both of their careers.
Coming to the NFL, Sutton has produced some solid stats in the league, with 158 tackles, two sacks, seven interceptions and five forced fumbles since he burst on the scene with Pittsburgh.
Similarly, Moseley has done a nice job to adjust to the league and make an impact as a former undrafred free agent. Since joining San Francisco, Moseley has put up 161 tackles, 33 passes defended and one touchdown as well as one fumble recovery.
Moseley was being counted on for a big 2022 season, but got unlucky with an ACL injury in Week 5 of the season that cost him the year. With that behind him, he is looking to rebound well for the Lions.
In the eyes of their former coaches, both players have a good chance to step up and deliver some big results for the Lions. That would be great news for the team as it relates to cleaning up a major trouble spot from their 2022 roster.