Returning from last season: Eric King, Jack Williams, Paul Pratt
New to the team: Dre Bly, Chris Houston, Jonathan Wade, T.J. Rushing, Dante Wesley, Jonathan Hefney, Aaron Berry, Amari Spievey
The cornerback position was overhauled during the offseason, with only three players from last year's team returning. That says a lot about how bad the corners were a year ago and also shows you that Martin Mayhew and company are trying to build a better secondary by acquiring cornerbacks in a number of different ways.
The two starters at corner are expected to be Chris Houston and Jonathan Wade. Those two, for example, were acquired via a trade and free agency, respectively. Houston was brought in from Atlanta and Wade was picked up as a free agent. Although Wade has been dealing with a broken finger recently, he and Houston seem like locks to start.
Behind them, Dre Bly and Dante Wesley will likely be the main backups. Eric King is also in the mix, but his play in the preseason has shown that he should only be a nickel back and nothing more. He is just awful as a true corner, but last year he wasn't bad playing the role of the nickel in the defense.
Beyond that, which other corners make the team is anyone's guess at this point. Amari Spievey is a lock, but he is not a true corner anymore considering his "main job," as Jim Schwartz called it, is at safety. He will still practice at corner, though, which is why I listed him as part of this group. Others like T.J. Rushing, Paul Pratt and Jonathan Hefney have some versatility as well, but will it be enough for any of them to make the team? I'm not so sure.
The only other true corner on the team that I haven't mentioned yet is Aaron Berry. He was brought in as an undrafted free agent and looked great for the first week or so of training camp. Then an injury happened and he just now returned to practice. Will this injury keep him from making the 53-man roster? It's certainly possible, but then again, the Lions could try to slip him through waivers and put him on the practice squad. That would be the most ideal situation if he's not quite ready for the NFL just yet because of his injury. If he is good to go, however, I wouldn't want to risk losing him.
Need going forward?
The Lions have plenty of corners on the roster right now, but you can bet they will be scouring the waiver wire after the final round of roster cuts just in case someone is out there to help upgrade depth at the position.