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Why I selected Jeremy Cash for the Lions in SB Nation's mock draft

The playmaking abilities of Cash make him a perfect fit for the Lions' strong safety role.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

After selecting Taylor Decker in the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, I decided to turn my attention to defense in the second round. My original plan was to address the defensive line, but unfortunately there was a run of defensive lineman picks at the end of the first round that left me with little talent to pick from at No. 46. Instead, I found that safety Jeremy Cash fit need and talent just right for my second round pick.

Cash is a bit of a risk. He didn't play a true safety position with Duke. More often than not, the Blue Devils lined up Cash as close to the line of scrimmage as possible, essentially playing a 3-4 linebacker role. But Cash's quickness and ability to avoid blocks actually makes him a perfect fit for the Lions' strong safety position, which remains a pretty big need despite the offseason addition of Rafael Bush.

The Lions don't use their strong safety position like a lot of teams do. Last year, Isa Abdul-Quddus and James Ihedigbo (both no longer on the team) often lined up in more of a linebacker position during season.

abdul-quddus linebacker

Cash will thrive in this role in Detroit. He will be expected to be hugely disruptive in the run game and also give the Lions defense another dimension by working as a blitzer. In 2015 alone, Cash had 18.0 tackles for loss, to go along with 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Just look at the chaos he caused at Duke:

Cash has a knack for being around the ball, and although his coverage skills remain a big question, Detroit wouldn't be using him in coverage too often, with Glover Quin manning the center field position.

Adding Cash would bolster a pretty decent Lions secondary, while also improving a run defense that took a significant step back in 2015.

Just watch his tape against Georgia Tech and tell me I'm wrong:

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