To get to know Detroit Lions sixth-round pick Quandre Diggs, a cornerback from Texas, I sent five questions to Wescott Eberts from Burnt Orange Nation, SB Nation's Longhorns blog. Here's a look at what he had to say about Diggs:
1. In Detroit, the expectation is for Diggs to work as a nickelback rather than an outside corner. How was he used in Texas' defense, and do you think he could play outside corner in the NFL?
When Diggs got to Texas, he immediately earned the field corner spot and played at a high level there as a freshman and sophomore before moving to nickelback for his final two seasons in Austin. However, he moved outside again against West Virginia last fall and helped hold star Mountaineers wide receiver Kevin White to less than nine yards per reception and kept him out of the end zone. So he was able to play well against a high-level NFL prospect, but he also really struggled when playing outside against TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson and gave up several highlight catches in which Doctson simply out-jumped him for the football. Attempting to play Diggs in the same position in the NFL will probably result in that scenario happening against taller receivers, so he's probably better suited to playing the nickel.
2. How did Diggs fare against the run in college?
When Diggs first moved to nickelback in 2013, he really struggled at times against spread offenses that attacked him with H-backs on the move in the read-option game. He's physical as a tackler, but his height makes it difficult for him to beat blocks once opponents engage him. He'll have to get better in that regard at the next level; it's just going to be difficult because of that significant physical limitation.
3. What one thing does Diggs need to work on the most as he transitions to being an NFL cornerback?
Other than taking on and defeating blocks, he'll need to make sure that he maximizes his speed and quickness because he's not elite in either of those categories based on his testing times at the NFL Scouting Combine. As a junior, he got a little heavy -- over 200 pounds -- and it clearly hurt him as he transitioned to defending faster receivers in the slot. After he dropped between five and 10 pounds in 2014, he was better able to hang with those players.
4. As a rookie, Diggs will likely be expected to contribute on special teams quite a bit. Did he get any work on the cover units in college?
Diggs had four special teams tackles as a senior despite playing just about every snap defensively, so he does have some experience in that phase and was able to make some plays there for the Longhorns.
5. What one play from Diggs' career at Texas best exemplifies his abilities as a cornerback?
This hit against Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes last fall that forced a fumble and knocked the Red Raiders signal caller out of the game exemplified the toughness and physicality of Diggs as a Texas player in a crucial moment for the team on the road in a must-win contest.