There are a number of great corners that are coming to this draft, Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins, Chase Minnefield, and about 4-5 other guys that could become great corners/ safeties in the league. Schwartz seems to be able to find later round players that make an impact. He doesn't choose for need, but for talent and I believe he that he can find cornerback talent in some non BCS schools, since the CB class is deep this year. Figuring Morris Claiborne and Dre' Kirkpatrick are gone well before 21st pick (earliest pick for the Lions if they lose vs. Saints) in the Draft. But there are a number of options we can go with this position and we could even go a totally different route if the option for a top 10 pick falls to us, like Fairley did in 2011 draft.
We could be looking another way for a starting corner, and that way could come in free agency that could fill a role in our system, Cortland Finnegan. He is older (27-28), but he still has 3-4 years of usefulness left in him. He is a product of Schwartz and (like Tulloch) fits our system. There would be less of a learning curve, than choosing a cb from the draft (usually a corner takes 5 years to become elite, except if they are named Darrelle Revis). Finnegan certainly has the attitude and I would suspect that with our 10-6 record he might want to jump aboard our bandwagon.
Another player we could be looking at is Brent Grimes. He had a huge year last year and we could be one of those teams that might look enticing with Suh, Fairley, Vandebosch, Avril (assuming he is retained) Sammie Lee-Hill, Lo Jack, Corey Williams, and Willie Young. Grimes signed a short contract year last year, but with Dunta Robinson set to earn 6-7 million next year, the Falcons might not have the ability to pay for both. We might be able to get one of these two at a good rate and get a developmental player in the later rounds of the draft. A developmental player like Leonard Johnson - Iowa St is one that comes to mind, decent build 5'10" 193lbs. He has a natural back pedal and is good in run support. He could be one of those guys that Schwartz finds in the later rounds.
At safety would could look at Michael Griffin from Tennessee as well. He was a first round pick with the Titans and he is only 26. He had a down year this year, but the titans aren't what they once were without Schwartz. He could be another piece that comes in from the former Tennessee Titans and improves our defensive structure. Griffin would look nice next to Delmas and it would give Speivey more time to grow and learn from two veteran safeties.
If last year is any indication of the way Schwartz, Mayhew and Cunningham like to get Db's, then they will inevitably look toward getting a free agent that is released and undervalued by that former team (examples: Houston and Wright). If we have a chance at getting Finnegan, Grimes or Griffin, then we would have made a significant up grade to our secondary.
With this type of move would would have more possibilities for our 2012 Draft. We could focus on Offensive Line, Linebacker, Defensive End, Wide Receiver (Nate Buerlson is getting old), Running back (Best's concussions are a concern), and 2nd string/ Developmental Quarterback (Shawn Hill and Drew Stanton are both free agents this year). We don't need all of these positions filled, but we could build up the talent level in some of these areas.
But this is just a guy kicking around a few ideas..........