The Detroit Lions had a miserable season defending the pass in 2021, so even in spite of the fact that the team seems to have a young group on the rise, the group still needed some reinforcements.
Enter Arizona State cornerback Chase Lucas in the seventh-round of the draft for the Lions at pick 237. Lucas has had a long career in the PAC-12 and with the Sun Devils, so there hasn’t been much that he hasn’t seen during his time playing college ball.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
The Lions needed to find a way to get some beefier production in the second level and also on special teams, so they took a flier on Lucas, who was slipping in the draft. Statistically, though, there might not be any reason for Lucas to have slipped in the draft given the fact that he is very productive batting away the football.
As Pro Football Focus showed, Lucas has forced 32 completions in the PAC-12 since 2017. While he did play a long career in college, that feat is pretty impressive.
In that conference, the likes of Drake London, Amon-Ra St. Brown and others lurk week in and week out. For Lucas to not only hold his own but be one of the top cornerbacks statistically is telling. It shows he could be ready for the competition.
Detroit needs a player capable of batting the ball away, and they could have just the right guy to do that in Lucas.
Lucas’s Stats & Highlights
It isn’t just the pass breakups that make Lucas a potential stud in the making for Detroit. The player also comes packing another punch in terms of tackling that is impressive with 223 tackles and 6 interceptions. Lucas was a two-time second-team All-PAC-12 player at cornerback in 2017 and 2020. Here’s a look at some tape:
Lucas is another player in the mold that Brad Holmes and the Lions would seemingly love. A gritty player who can compete on the field and has major athleticism and talent to go with great character.
Lucas Joins Competitive Lions’ Defensive Backfield
It could be argued that the Lions didn’t really need Lucas or another cornerback, but for anyone who pays attention, it is clear the team certainly cold use some depth at the position to help supplement their roster. At cornerback, the team witnessed production from a pair of undrafted free agents in AJ Parker and Jerry Jacobs. The play of both looks like it will be good enough to shore up the position into the future. In addition to those players, the Lions watched as Amani Oruwariye became a star this season, and the team still has Jeff Okudah on the roster, though he will be coming off injury in 2022. Additionally, the team will have a player in Ifeatu Melifonwu looking to take the next step from his rookie year. Add it all up and there is certainly reason to feel positive about the future of the group moving forward. In Mike Hughes, who they signed in the offseason, they could have found another player to help for depth’s sake.
Lucas, like Parker and Jacobs before him, will get his chance to make his case to the team in this crowded bunch. He’s already packing some ball skills that could serve beneficial for the Lions in a big way.