The Detroit Lions defense didn’t do to well last season against both the pass & the run, but their secondary situation seems to be of greater concern at the moment, and if one of their many in-house candidates to become their number 2 corner doesn’t pan out, there are always free agents like Shawntae Spencer, Jason Allen or Sheldon Brown they might use.
Last season the Lions allowed an average passer rating of 91.7 for opposing quarterbacks, tied for 9th worst in the NFL along with the Carolina Panthers, another team that are having their share of problems finding a bit more quality in the secondary.
For now, Chris Houston seems to be the only one with a guaranteed spot in the lineup, being the designated shut down corner for the Lions, or something close to that. The candidates to play opposite of him?
Ron Bartell, who played only once last season for the Lions after being traded from the Oakland Raiders, being the veteran in the group of would be starters; Bill Bentley, a third round pick from the 2012 draft who played four times for the team last season; Jonte Green, who was a sixth round pick in 2012, but appeared 15 times for the Lions last season, and has a chance of being involved just as much or even more this season (Nickel?); Chris Greenwood, another 2012 pick (5th round) who didn’t play at all last season; and the 2013 second round pick, Darius Slay out of Mississippi State.
Not the most impressive bunch, but both Green and Slay have a chance to at least be the guys who hold the nickelback position early on. As for starters? There isn’t great material for that. Spencer and Allen haven’t been starting in quite some time in the NFL, which makes 34 year old Sheldon Brown, who has been quite consistent throughout his 11-year career and last started for the Bengals their best option at the moment.