CB Quandre Diggs (Texas) - Round 6, Pick No. 200
Despite already adding one cornerback earlier in the draft -- Alex Carter in the third round -- the Detroit Lions drafted another one in the sixth round by taking Texas' Quandre Diggs. Unlike Carter, who projects to be an outside corner, Diggs will be able to give the Lions extra depth at the nickel spot.
Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 196 pounds
2011: 48 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 4 INT, 17 PD, 1 FF
2012: 52 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 INT, 11 PD
2013: 49 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 10 PD, 1 FF
2014: 65 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 3 INT, 5 PD, 1 FF
What the experts are saying
Diggs is an intelligent and instinctual corner who will battle it out with Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson and Josh Wilson for the starting nickelback spot. That's a lot of guys to compete for one spot, but after dealing with two season-ending injuries and getting absolutely burned all year by slot receivers, it's a necessary problem to have.
Following some struggles adjusting to the nickel back position in 2013 that were exacerbated by some nagging injuries, Diggs rebounded with an excellent senior season by setting a career high with 73 tackles, along with five pass break ups, and three interceptions. He also showed his willingness to do whatever it takes for the team by finishing tied for fourth on the team with four special teams tackles and added five tackles for loss and two sacks to his season numbers. As a result, he earned second-team All-Big 12 recognition from the conference's coaches.
Diggs has started 80 percent of his games during his four years at Texas. He's battle-tested against some of the most explosive wide receivers in the country and has developed into a mentally tough player. Diggs will have to be a slot cornerback and will need to keep his weight down in order to match up with the speed he will see from the slot.
An extra coach on the field for the Longhorns with his veteran presence, Diggs has the intangibles and pedigree that will make him attractive to NFL coaches, but his lack of height, length and speed show up quite a bit on tape. Diggs likely needs a cover-2 or zone scheme where he might be able to survive inside as a nickel corner with his instincts and competitive toughness, but his NFL upside is limited.
What he brings: Diggs lacks ideal size (5-9, 196), which can hurt him in contested situations against bigger wide receivers at times. However, he is a scrappy player who has a knack for playing bigger than his measurables indicate. Diggs shows quality movement skills and flashes the anticipation to jump and break on routes. He also holds up well for his size defending the run.
Our own Sam Monson said that the Lions got a better player with their sixth-round pick in Diggs, than they did with Carter in the third round. Diggs is on the smaller side, but that didn’t prevent him from producing well enough to have the 11th-best overall grade among the CB class. He graded above average in coverage in six games, plus another in the Senior Bowl, and none were below average.
(via Draft Breakdown)
Outlook for 2015
Diggs could actually have a shot at making an immediate impact at cornerback as a rookie. The nickelback spot is up for grabs, and although there is a lot of competition at that spot between Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson, Josh Wilson and Chris Owens, Diggs is coming to the NFL with a lot of experience from his time at Texas. And even if Diggs doesn't win the nickelback job, he should still see a lot of playing time on special teams.