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Quandre Diggs had a career game covering Larry Fitzgerald

Quandre Diggs took to this offseason like a man possessed. Challenged for his roster spot on all sides, he showed the Cardinals that he’s not going quietly.

Arizona Cardinals v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Quandre Diggs was not very good in 2016. That sentence could probably be in the running for biggest understatement of the year, but it’s a fact that he allowed nearly every pass thrown into his coverage to be completed.

As starting nickelback, Diggs allowed quarterbacks to pass freely in his direction, leaving the middle of the field wide open to anyone in either zone or man coverage. The Lions drafted two cornerbacks in 2017 and signed former Raiders first-round pick DJ Hayden to a starter’s contract, leaving Diggs on the outside looking in.

In such a numbers game, many doubted Diggs would respond strongly enough for it to make any difference. Now that we’ve seen him in regular season action, we can see just how well he’s responded.

Last year, according to PFF, Quandre Diggs allowed 40 of 44 passes thrown into his coverage to be completed. For the math savvy, that’s only four incompletions allowed in all of 2016. To illustrate just how well Diggs played against future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer’s Cardinals, he didn’t allow a single completion in his coverage (per PFF). He allowed the same number of incompletions on September 10th, 2017 as he did in 16 full games in 2016.

It’s incredible to think that only a few short weeks ago Diggs was considered a probable cut by most who followed the team. The acquisitions of Teez Tabor, Jamal Agnew, and DJ Hayden, along with Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson already put the team at five cornerbacks. Johnson Bademosi was also on the roster, and though his contract was manageable, his roster spot was considered pretty secure due to his special teams contributions.

Diggs didn’t care about that, either, as he was a demon on special teams throughout the preseason. This rendered Bademosi expendable, leading to a trade to New England, and paved the way for Diggs to make the roster.

Week 1’s game against the Arizona Cardinals may have been Diggs’ best game as a pro. Even his strong rookie season didn’t see him making many plays. He has yet to record an interception, though he came very close against Carson Palmer.

To highlight just how good this game was for Diggs, know that his three pass deflections was a career high not only in his pro career, but tied his college career high and was his first multiple pass deflection game since December of 2013.

The man was on fire and showed not only why he won the nickel back job in 2017 but showed off as the best player on the field against Arizona. With Darius Slay being himself and Nevin Lawson on the other side, a healthy and productive Quandre Diggs in the slot could be a nightmare for opposing offenses if he can keep this up over an entire season.


Has Quandre Diggs turned a corner?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Hell yes, he’s a BEAST!
    (386 votes)
  • 64%
    It’s better than 2016, but that’s a low bar.
    (880 votes)
  • 6%
    This was a fluke, he’s probably the same as ever.
    (87 votes)
  • 0%
    He’s somehow worse. I didn’t watch the Cardinals game.
    (6 votes)
1359 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.