It’s not too shocking, but Will Harris and Ifeatu Melifonwu officially have new positions in the Lions’ secondary.
The Detroit Lions have plenty of question marks in their secondary, but in some respects things can only get better. Will Harris seemed to have found a home at cornerback late last season after being ill-equipped to play safety, and Ifeatu Melifonwu remains a promising player heading into his second season.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell noted the value in Harris’ versatility, tongue-in-cheekily labeling him a “cafety” (cornerback plus safety=”cafety”).
Melifonwu, a third-round pick out of Syracuse last year, is a bigger corner (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) with excellent timed speed (4.48 40-yard dash). During his college career he broke up 19 passes, and he had 54 total tackles in his final season for the Orange.
In a broad sense, given the Lions’ general need at the position, it was not too surprising Melifonwu got some work at safety during OTAs.
Will Harris and Ifeatu Melifonwu officially get new positions in Lions’ secondary
Early on the first day of Lions’ training camp Wednesday, team website writer Tim Twentyman noted listed position switches for Harris and Melifonwu. Harris is listed as a cornerback, and Melifonwu is listed as a safety.
Harris played the most defensive snaps for the Lions last season, and as mentioned he played better when pressed into duty at cornerback late. Melifonwu missed a lot of time as a rookie due to a quad injury, but he started the last three games (as a cornerback of course) and played nearly every snap over that stretch. That action was surely beneficial for him overall.
Melifonwu worked some with the first-team defense at safety on Wednesday, but he worked mostly with the second-team defense on the first day of camp. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has envisioned him as a Swiss Army Knife for the secondary, not unlike Harris is some way.
Neither position change is surprising. The Lions should be open to anything to find the right pieces in the secondary, and officially making the switches with Harris and Melifonwu reflects that.