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Darius Slay makes list of instant-impact rookies for 2013

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Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay is one of the rookies expected to "make a splash" in 2013.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions used their first two picks in the 2013 NFL Draft on defensive players. Considering defensive end Ziggy Ansah was selected in the first round, he was by far the Lions' most notable pick in the first two rounds. Not only was he a top-five selection, but he is expected to upgrade the Lions' pass rush in a big way in 2013.

Could cornerback Darius Slay, the Lions' second-round pick, actually make more of an impact than Ansah on the Lions in 2013? NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah thinks that will be the case, which is why he put Slay on his list of seven instant-impact rookies for the 2013 season. Jeremiah expects Slay to "make a splash" for the Lions.

Slay is incredibly explosive (4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash) and has impressive ball skills, as evidenced by his five interceptions last fall. He should nail down a starting position during training camp, and I expect him to improve throughout his rookie season. I won't be surprised if Slay matches the five picks he recorded during his final college campaign.

Chris Houston is a given to start at left cornerback for the Lions, but right cornerback will be up for grabs in training camp. Veteran Ron Bartell is the favorite to start going into camp, and the Lions also have Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood, who were picked in last year's draft. Slay will certainly have a chance to rise up the depth chart, but he will need an impressive showing in August to be a Week 1 starter.