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Lions 2018 review: Darius Slay shines, but injuries expose depth issues in secondary

Editor’s note: The Detroit Lions have wrapped up the 2018 year. Around the up coming two months, MLive.com will hand out evaluations for just about every of the team’s placement groups. Earlier placement evaluations include quarterbacks, operating backs, broad receivers, tight finishes, offensive line, defensive line and linebackers.

Secondary

Starters: Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Glover Quin, Quandre Diggs

Backups: Jamal Agnew, DeShawn Shead, Marcus Cooper, Mike Ford, Dee Virgin, Teez Tabor, Tracy Walker

Essential stats: Authorized 102.7 passer ranking, 30th in league authorized 7.3 yards per completion, 26th in the league picked off 7 passes, tied for second worst in the league

Kyle’s grade: C+

Let us get started with the good, shall we? And we’re conversing about Darius Slay, of training course. Slay defended 17 passes and picked off a few, one of which he returned for his to start with job touchdown. He also held opposing quarterbacks to a passer ranking of 80.1, which was 19th among corners who played at least 50 % of their defense’s snaps. All people quantities are down from past 12 months, when Slay was named a to start with-team All-Professional, but they were being however stable for a dude who put in the bulk of the 12 months touring with the offense’s No. 1 receiver. Gamers around the league identified that, way too, and voted Slay into his second straight Professional Bowl.

But there were being struggles in other places.

Slot male Jamal Agnew was shed to a knee harm in Week 5, and wound up lacking 10 online games. That forced Nevin Lawson inside of, where he was great but not an inch additional than that. He however has not picked off a pass in his five-12 months job and fully commited another 11 penalties, a team higher.

But that was very little in contrast to Teez Tabor, who bought the to start with crack at changing Lawson on the outdoors. He authorized 22 of his 27 targets to be accomplished, was scored on four periods and authorized a excellent quarterback ranking for the year. Among the 132 cornerbacks who played at least 20 % of their defense’s snaps, Tabor was the only one to do that. Yeah, not fantastic.

Tabor was sooner or later benched in favor of Mike Ford, an undrafted rookie. While the Lions continue on to say Tabor is receiving better, his future is decidedly unclear. Following year will most likely be a make-or-break year for the former second-spherical decide on in Detroit.

Ford had some great times early after remaining inserted into the starting off lineup, but was exposed later in the year. He doesn’t appear like a lengthy-time period solution, nor does DeShawn Shead, which implies Detroit has a serious need to have for cornerback aid heading into 2019.

At protection, Quandre Diggs surpassed Glover Quin as Detroit’s leading player at the placement. He was the only defensive again in the league with at least 75 tackles, a few interceptions, a few tackles for loss and one decide on-six. Not poor for a dude in his to start with year playing the placement whole time, eh?

Nobody’s stating substantially about the future of Quin, who concluded without an interception for the to start with time considering that 2011. His game took a phase again this 12 months, and thinking of his age, agreement and the budding potential of Tracy Walker behind him, it would not be a surprise to see the torch passed at absolutely free protection in 2019.

All instructed, the Lions however have some leading-conclusion talent in the again conclusion around which they can build. But the Agnew harm revealed the absence of depth and playmaking potential way too. The absence of force up front did these fellas no favors, genuine, but Detroit wants additional talent in the secondary, and could consider another defensive again early in the draft. That Tabor misfire positive hurts, doesn’t it?



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