The Detroit Lions are searching for a replacement for Louis Delmas at safety, and it appears that their top target may be a player with connections to defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. James Ihedigbo, who spent the last two seasons with Austin (and head coach Jim Caldwell) in Baltimore, is set to visit the Lions on Thursday, according to Aaron Wilson.
Ihedigbo, 30, has been in the NFL since 2008. He began his career with the New York Jets before later spending one season with the New England Patriots as a starter. He then moved on to the Baltimore Ravens, starting three games in 2012 and all 16 games in 2013. Last season, he had 101 tackles, 11 passes defended, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. Those were career-high numbers across the board.
On Pro Football Focus, Ihedigbo was ranked 16th in the NFL at safety in 2012. He was on about the same level as Glover Quin from a blitzing standpoint, putting him sixth in the league in that department. And against the run, only T.J. Ward was better. Against the pass, however, Ihedigbo was all the way down at 73rd in the league.
The thinking this week has been that Chris Clemons would end up becoming the Lions' top target at safety. It's entirely possible that will end up happening at some point, but the Lions' focus right now appears to be on Ihedigbo.