The Detroit Lions made plenty of signings this offseason, but one they had that flew almost completely under the radar was safety Dean Marlowe.
Marlowe was added late in the process and wasn’t the biggest name the Lions chased at the position, meaning he didn’t generate many headlines. Now, though, Marlowe could be ready to state his case as one of the players who can nail down a starting role for a needy Detroit secondary.
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When it comes to training camp, Marlowe has a big chance to open some eyes with an impressive performance. According to Pro Football Focus writer Ben Linsey, Marlowe will be embroiled in one of the can’t-miss battles of camp this year when he faces off with Will Harris to see who will be a starter.
“Assuming Tracy Walker is Detroit’s top safety, the other starting safety job is up for grabs between Harris and Marlowe. Harris has done little with the opportunities he’s been given the past two years (51.9 PFF grade), while Marlowe simply didn’t have much opportunity in Buffalo. The Lions’ free agent acquisition was buried on the Bills depth chart behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, but few teams provided a better chance for Marlowe to crack the starting rotation than Detroit. He played between 50 and 100 defensive snaps in the box, slot and deep alignments last year for the Bills.”
Marlowe was impressive in the time he has been on the field, so it would not be a shock to see him come in and play a starting role for the Lions. Obviously, though, that will be decided in training camp, making this one of the most interesting battles set to play out for the team.
Marlowe’s Stats and Highlights
An undrafted free agent out of James Madison, Marlowe cracked the Carolina Panthers’ roster in 2015, and stayed there until he signed with the Bills in 2017. From 2017 to 2020, Marlowe played a key role for the Bills in terms of being a glue guy on special teams. He’s also produced a bit when given a shot. In his career, Marlowe has just 38 tackles and 2 interceptions to go with 1 fumble recovery, 1.5 sacks and 5 passes defended, but the majority of his production came late in 2020 when he was allowed a bigger chance to play on the defense. Perhaps if he signed in Detroit, he could see more defensive snaps and come into his own.
Marlowe can be an instinctive playmaker who can certainly get after it on the field and be in the right place at the right time as this clip reveals.
Giving him a bigger chance in a rebuilt Detroit secondary could prove to be a very good idea, and he could be a player who benefits from that chance right now come camp.
Lions Safety Position Poised for Camp Battle
Tracy Walker does feel like he will be entrenched, but beyond that, there is plenty up for grabs when camp begins. Will Harris has to prove he belongs, and has a veteran player in Marlowe who is breathing down his neck in terms of production. Even Walker will need to step up his game and provide some stability and production at the spot, meaning everyone should be poised to play a bigger and better role for the team when push comes to shove.
Marlowe is a hungry veteran who will be able to come in and provide some depth no matter what happens. At this point, he could be set to make a major case to play a starting role soon.