The Detroit Lions have spent plenty of time trying to rebuild their roster in key spots this offseason, and have done plenty of heavy lifting in order to get this done.
Still, that might not change the fact that there are some major gaps on the roster for the team even in spite of the work the front office has done. One of the spots that might need a bit of boosting is on the defense, and specifically, at cornerback.
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Bleacher Report writer Brad Gagnon took a look at naming all the biggest holes on rosters across the league, and in Detroit, the cornerback situation presented a familiar hole in his eyes. There is an interesting suggestion for an addition in Richard Sherman, however, even if it seems impossible.
“One year after trading star cornerback Darius Slay, the Detroit Lions have also given up on Justin Coleman and moved on from Desmond Trufant at that critical position. They brought in veteran Quinton Dunbar this offseason, but it’s clear they’re putting most of their eggs in 2020 first-round pick Jeff Okudah’s basket.
But Okudah struggled as a rookie and is no lock to live up to expectations. And even if he can make progress and Dunbar remains healthy for the first time in four years, the Lions look soft in the slot, where Mike Ford and Corn Elder are expected to compete.
Detroit needs another proven player inside or outside, but Richard Sherman probably doesn’t make much sense considering his age and Detroit’s status as a non-contender. Steven Nelson and Brian Poole are logical targets, however.”
Theoretically, the Lions should have enough at cornerback to get by, especially with the expected emergence of Okudah as well as the expected rebound of Quinton Dunbar and the hopeful continued development of Amani Oruwariye. Additionally, names like Mike Ford and Ifeatu Melifonwu could be expected to provide a role for the team this season.
Adding a player like Sherman would seem like an extreme long shot at this point as explained, but offering him work would be interesting. Either Nelson or Poole would be an intriguing player to add to the mix. Both have combined for a total of 14 interceptions and over 500 tackles in their career.
Many see other spots as the biggest need on the Detroit roster at this point in time, but some believe cornerback is still a significant problem for 2021.
Lions Cornerbacks Primed for Battle
Not only are the Lions having to expect Jeff Okudah to step up as well as Amani Oruwariye, but the team wants to see some of their other options do well on the field too. Seeing rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu step up and create a role for himself would be huge, and there are others on the foster such as Mike Ford who the team wants to see continue to make a name for themselves.
Even though the team has some depth, they are in need of a star as well as a role player stepping up in order to make the group deeper and tougher to play against. Does the team need another addition? Some see that as a must at this point in time in the offseason.
Other Free Agent Cornerbacks Lions Could Target
Obviously, at this point, Richard Sherman is the best veteran on the market, his legal issues not withstanding. Otherwise, Poole and Nelson are a few of the better options considering their age and status in the league. If the Lions were looking for a veteran body, Buster Skrine, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Justin Bethel are also on the market and could provide some potentially needed stability at the position. Detroit will also be able to watch the waiver wire closer to the end of training camp for possible additions at cut time.
The Lions don’t seem likely to make a move now, but cornerback could be a hole to remember as camp begins and takes shape.