Carlton Davis may be the biggest acquisition of the Lions offseason

USA Today

The Lions had a season for the ages last year but throughout it, there was one major aspect of defense that was lacking, pass defense. Several quarterbacks had major games against the Lions secondary in 2023 including Justin Fields, who was traded for a 2025 NFL Draft pick, and Nick Mullens who may be on the Vikings practice squad.

That problem came to be a front-and-center issue in the NFC Championship Game when Brock Prudy led the 49ers to a monumental comeback. The Lions front office and coaching staff knew it was an issue and they got aggressive this offseason in an effort to fix it.

Brad Holmes traded the team’s third-round pick for Carlton Davis, who is considered one of the best man coverage cornerbacks in the league. Dan Campbell couldn’t be more excited to have him on the roster.

“There are just things he can do where he can take his side of the field away, at times, just to have some of that, man, goes a long way for the rest of the defense, and what (Aaron Glenn) is going to be able to call. Man, that’s going to help. And that’s really something we felt we haven’t had here since we’ve been here.”

Being able to play man, though, affects more than just one area. The entire defense benefits, especially the safety group. The safeties last year were monumental in run support. By having better man coverage they have less responsibilities and can focus on just one task per play. Campbell went further explaining its importance.

“Being able to play man is no different than being able to run the football or stop the run. It’s kind of one of our core values to be a good team. You want to be able to play man when called upon. So, yeah, this certainly will give AG (Aaron Glen) more flexibility in what to call, I believe.”

We saw what the run game did for the offense. If man coverage can do that for the defense, then this is a complete football team.

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