As part of our season wrap-up series, we are going to examine how each player on the roster performed in 2014. Next, let's take a look at the Detroit Lions' cornerbacks. (Note: Stats are from regular-season games only.)
Darius Slay - 16 games (16 starts) | 61 tackles, 17 PD, 2 INT
After a shaky rookie season, Slay took a big step forward in his second year in the NFL. He not only established himself as an important part of the Lions defense, but he established himself as a top-20 cornerback in the NFL in general, at least on Pro Football Focus. If he keeps improving going forward, he could eventually become one of the NFL's top cornerbacks.
Rashean Mathis - 16 games (16 starts) | 51 tackles, 9 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 TD
Despite being 34 years old, Mathis was a top-12 cornerback on PFF in 2014. He continued to bring reliability to the cornerback position, and he continued to serve as a mentor to Slay. The Lions were able to depend on him on and off the field, and he really played a big role in the secondary's transformation into an all-around solid unit.
Cassius Vaughn - 13 games (5 starts) | 18 tackles, 5 PD, 2 INT, 1 FR
Most of Vaughn's playing time this season came in the nickel. It seems like he's a better fit as an outside cornerback, but he only saw extensive playing time at an outside spot when an injury forced him into action in the playoffs. Aside from that, he was in and out of the lineup at nickelback, and he was quite inconsistent in that role.
Bill Bentley - 1 game (0 starts)
Bentley was supposed to be the Lions' nickelback, but he tore his ACL three plays into the 2014 season.
Nevin Lawson - 2 games (0 starts) | 1 tackle
Following Bentley's injury, it was Lawson's turn to be the Lions' nickelback, but he suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 2.
Mohammed Seisay - 13 games (0 starts) | 5 tackles
Seisay saw a very limited amount of snaps at nickelback over the course of the season. He was promoted from the practice squad mainly to serve as extra depth at cornerback, but he ended up spending more time on special teams than anything.
Josh Thomas - 1 game (0 starts)
Thomas joined the Lions via the waiver wire toward the end of the season. He only made one appearance with the Lions, and that was strictly in a special teams role.