2024 NFL Draft: Four cornerbacks that fit the Detroit Lions

USA Today

In recent weeks, the Detroit Lions have seen significant changes in their secondary. First, they traded for cornerback Carlton Davis and then they signed cornerback Amik Robertson.

Just a few short days later, the Lions ended up releasing cornerback Cameron Sutton. He was released due to having a warrant out for his arrest for domestic battery. Since then, the Lions haven’t added any other defensive back depth to replace Sutton with any other veterans on the free agent market.

The Lions could feel confident in having Davis and Robertson on the perimeter of their defense. But it still feels like they need another young cornerback into the mix. If they did, here are four cornerbacks that fit the Detroit Lions in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

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Give me Lassiter on the Lions for the simple fact that I want to see the footage of his interview with Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn during the pre-draft process. Meanwhile, I need to see Brad Holmes get fired up about drafting a physical defender that has infectious energy on every snap.

Lassiter is a physical and hard-hitting at 5’11” and 186 pounds. The biggest question mark about his game is his long speed. There’s been mixed reports on his 40-yard dash time from the Georgia Pro Day with times of 4.50 seconds and others around 4.65 seconds. Regardless, he can be asset in pass coverage with safety help over the top and he’ll be at his best when having to come up and play the run.

Best suited to play in press-man, I could see the Lions valuing a player such as Lassiter due to his experience and production out of Cover 1 and Cover 3 defenses. He’d likely have to be the selection at pick 29 but there’s a chance that the Lions could land him somewhere in the top-45 picks of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Max Melton, Rutgers

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

I’m very interested to see what the Lions do with their second (61st overall) and third (73rd overall) round picks in the draft this year. I could see them packaging them together to move up on day two of the draft. Ultimately, I think they take one of them and move back to acquire some additional draft capital for day three of the draft.

But keeping one of those picks could still help the Lions grab some type of help in the secondary. The next two players fall into that range on my draft board. First up is Max Melton out of Rutgers. Talk about a guy that has done wonders for his draft process, Melton seems like a lock to be selected within the top-75 picks of this year’s draft.

He’s 5’11” and 189 pounds with a 40.5″ vertical and he posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds. Add in the fact that he provides inside-outside versatility for a defense and I think his stock gets even higher. He’s a patient defender who plays physical at the line of scrimmage due to his ability to jam and redirect receivers. He’ll need to work on finding the ball to become more productive at the next level, but for the Lions defense, he’d be a great addition to the Lions’ new-look secondary.

Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri

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During the draft process, I really enjoyed breaking down Kris Abrams-Draine’s tape from Missouri. In fact, there are times when his tape looks better than that of his teammate Ennis Rakestraw. That said, either play would be a fine addition to the Lions’ secondary.

When talking about Abrams-Draine, he’s a sub 4.45 player in the 40-yard dash with good lower body fluidity and he just always seems to be in the right position to make a play on the football. Hence why he was very productive in college with 40 career pass breakups and 7 interceptions.

Best suited for man coverage or Cover 3, Abrams-Draine fits the Lions defense schematically. It’s possible that he could develop into a number one cornerback in the Lions defense but he seems best suited to play special teams early in his career with the potential to develop into a number two corner.

MJ Devonshire, Pittsburgh

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It’s rare that I talk about a player as a potential fit for a team without having a full evaluation on him but this is one of those one-off situations. In the last few days, I’ve watched two games (Florida State & Duke) of Devonshire and he looks to be a great fit for Detroit.

If the Lions decided to hold off on taking a cornerback until day three of the draft, I think this one would make a lot of sense. For starters, he’s got great size and length for the position at 5’11” and 186 pounds with almost 33″ arms. He’s got good speed and explosiveness for the position.

On tape, he shows good ability to play press and can jam receivers consistently. He looks comfortable and fluid in zone coverage and there’s belief that he can play inside or outside for a defense. Some would call Devonshire a developmental prospect but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up playing much earlier than expected in year one for an NFL defense.

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