Despite signing free agent Justin Coleman last week and re-signing Marcus Cooper a few days ago, the Detroit Lions appear to still be in the market for a cornerback that could start next season.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are hosting former Raiders cornerback Rashaan Melvin for a visit on Wednesday:
Free agent CB Rashaan Melvin is visiting the #Lions on Wednesday, source said. He had 7 starts for the #Raiders last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2019
Melvin is veteran outside cornerback who is coming off a disappointing one-year deal with the Raiders. He signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Raiders after a breakout season with the Colts that saw him record a team-high 13 passes defended and three interceptions in 10 games.
Pro Football Focus listed Melvin as a top-10 free agent cornerback in this year’s market, but also noted his discouraging regression last year.
“Melvin followed up a promising 2017 campaign with a lackluster 2018 performance that saw his overall grade fall from 77.9 to 60.5 and his passer rating allowed balloon from 60.3 to 101.6,” PFF’s Ben Linsey noted.
The Indy Star describes Melvin as a physical corner who excels in man-to-man coverage, which would certainly fit the kind of profile the Lions would be looking for, since they predominantly play man-coverage schemes.
In Melvin’s six-year career, he has 28 career starts at cornerback, so if the Lions were to sign him, he could certainly contend for a starting job. If he can recapture some of his magic with the Colts, this could be a nice under-the-radar signing.