clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 Q’s with Niners Wire: Emmanuel Moseley is ‘a really smart, tough player’

Get to know the Detroit Lions latest new corner, Emmanuel Moseley.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes isn’t playing around. The Lions had a hard weakness at cornerback just a few short days ago. Now, they have themselves a really nice group of guys—and they might not be done.

First, the Lions signed Steelers corner Cameron Sutton on the first day of legal tampering. Then on day two, they added 49ers corner Emmanuel Moseley to their roster.

It’s pretty clear Holmes has been reading Pride of Detroit, because just last week, we had both players on our list of potential free agent corners the Lions should consider.

Moseley’s path to Detroit is different than Sutton’s. While Sutton was a third-round pick, Moseley came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie. He worked his way up to being a starter and a key part of the 49ers' secondary. There is a bit of an injury history to worry about, and he is currently recovering from an ACL injury, but Moseley has been a real player when he’s on the field.

We wanted to know more about Moseley, so we reached out to our friend Kyle Madson from Niners Wire to get the scoop. Here’s what he had to say:

1. What are your overall thoughts on Moseley’s time with the 49ers?

“Emmanuel Moseley is a really high-quality player who might have been a Pro Bowler last year had he not torn his ACL at Carolina in Week 5. The 49ers signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2018, but he made a huge impact for them in 2019 and wound up taking over the starting CB job opposite Second-Team All-Pro Richard Sherman for the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl. The 49ers defense gets a little bit worse without him.”

2. What are his strengths?

“He’s a really smart, tough player. It’s pretty rare he’s not at least contesting a catch in his area. Moseley is also an excellent tackler. The biggest thing with him though is his versatility. He can play man, he can play zone, he can play in the slot — there’s nothing he is really incapable of.”

3. What are his weaknesses?

“Well, he’s coming off an injury and sometimes he’s susceptible to getting beat over the top. It also feels like he loses a lot of the contested catch situations I mentioned above. The healthier he is though the better he should get. He’s just never been healthy as a full-time starter for consecutive seasons.”

4. Why do you think the 49ers let him get away? You mentioned you were bummed in our DM.

“The Javon Hargrave signing probably handcuffed them a bit. General manager John Lynch indicated at the end of the season they wanted to bring Moseley back, but the emergence of CB Deommodore Lenoir as a viable option outside made Moseley a little more expendable. I’m sure they were in the running but had a cap on what they were willing/able to spend on a player who was more of a want than a need.”

5. How much of a concern should there be with Moseley’s health? Looks like he’s missed a lot of time.

“It’s at least a minor concern. His injury in 2018 was a weird dislocated shoulder he suffered on special teams that knocked him out for the year. He sprained his ankle in 2021 and wound up missing a few weeks. Then the ACL which came on the turf in Carolina while breaking up a deep throw late in that one. They’ve all been different injuries, which leads me to believe he’s simply run into some bad luck. When he’s on the field though he’s been a player worth any injury risk.”

NEW: Join Pride of Detroit Direct

Jeremy Reisman will drop into your inbox twice a week to provide exclusive, in-depth reporting and insights from Ford Field. Subscribe to go deeper into Lions fandom, and join us on our path to win the Super Bowl.