Two weeks of Detroit Lions OTAs are in the books. The Lions have completed six of their allotted 10 practices before the beginning of mandatory minicamp, which precedes training camp.
At this point, we haven’t really had a taste of any camp competitions for Detroit. Only two of the Lions’ six practices have been open to the public, and because the players are still without pads and still learning the ropes, position battles have yet to really heat up.
That being said, we have a pretty good idea of which battles are going to be the most interesting and which will be duds. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Detroit Lions camp battle are you most interested in?
My answer: The nickel cornerback position. I’m most interested in this battle for several reasons. First, this is an extremely underrated position on defense. The Lions line up in nickel formation around 70 percent of the time, so the nickel corner will be getting a heavy majority of defensive snaps this season.
Additionally, this is one of the most crowded positions on the team. DJ Hayden is probably the leading candidate to win the job out of the gate, but Quandre Diggs will get the opportunity to reclaim his position after injury forced him out last year. Additionally, the Lions drafted Jamal Agnew to compete, but that won’t likely happen until he’s further along in his professional career. Even Nevin Lawson could win out the position, if the Lions deem rookie Teez Tabor ready to take over as the team’s No. 2 cornerback.
What is most thrilling to me about this camp battle is the ramifications for the team beyond 2017. Hayden and Lawson have contracts that will expire at the end of the season, while Diggs only has a year remaining after 2017. If one of those players steps up in 2017, they could earn a long-term deal in Detroit. Or maybe the Lions are holding out hope that fifth-round pick Agnew could eventually develop into the starting nickel corner. Either way, this offseason is going to tell us a lot about the present and the future of Detroit’s cornerback depth.