Detroit Lions: Darius Slay Stepping Up in Rookie Year Could Make Secondary Actually Decent

By Thomas Emerick
Darius Slay
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions‘ starting secondary might be, dare I say it, decent in 2013?

Yes, there are plenty of questions on the cornerback depth chart. Yes, this unit has been terrible for about a decade at least. But if talented incumbents like cornerback Chris Houston and Louis Delmas can just stay healthy while the additions of safety Glover Quin and Darius Slay pan out, this secondary might be strong against two and maybe even three-wide sets.

It feels weird to say about the Lions, but the arrow’s pointing up at defensive back.

Much of the improvement of this unit will lean on the rapid development of Slay, the team’s second-round rookie out of Mississippi State. All looks good from Slay so far and he’s reportedly begun earning first-team reps alongside Houston.

“We really don’t have depth charts right now, but we do have rotations,” Lions Coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday, via ESPN. “He’s getting some good reps and that’s because of his play in the preseason games. The greatest reward is the opportunity to do more.”

Meanwhile, Houston has been the Lions’ one good cornerback for seemingly ages. In today’s heavily pass-oriented game, one good corner and a bunch of lesser talents often just won’t get a secondary to strikes fear in many hearts. The main issue with the incumbents is that Houston has missed five games over the past two years while Delmas at safety has missed 13 during that period.

Their coverage skills, combined with Quin’s versatility and Slay’s raw ability give this Detroit secondary more upside than usual heading into 2013.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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