After a relatively quiet first few weeks of free agency, the Detroit Lions have now signed two defensive players since Thursday night. First, they added linebacker Brandon Copeland, who drew interest from numerous teams after an impressive performance at the Veteran Combine. Then, on Friday morning, they signed cornerback Josh Wilson to a one-year deal.
Wilson joins the Lions after spending the 2014 season with the Atlanta Falcons. He made four starts in 16 games and recorded 28 tackles, seven pass defenses and one interception. Prior to joining the Falcons, Wilson played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2007-09, the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 and the Washington Redskins from 2011-13.
So, where exactly does Wilson fit into the picture at cornerback in Detroit? Considering he is 5-foot-9, the nickel spot seems like the best fit for him, and that's where he spent a lot of his time last season.
New Lions CB Josh Wilson made 4 starts & played primarily vs slot WRs last year. Also was in on about half ST snaps in Atlanta. 1-year deal— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) April 3, 2015
Overall, Wilson was the 75th-best cornerback on Pro Football Focus last season. He finished the year with a -4.6 grade, which was slightly down from his -3.2 grade in 2013. In 2012, he actually had a +4.8 grade and was the No. 32 cornerback in the NFL.
With the addition of Wilson, the Lions now have three main players set to compete for the nickelback job. Two of them, Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson, are coming off season-ending injuries. With that in mind, Wilson will serve as veteran depth at the nickel spot, and he could be called upon to contribute quite a bit on defense depending on what happens with Bentley and Lawson.