LIONS INSIDER

Camp Spotlight: Cornerback Nevin Lawson

Posted Jul 30, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of cornerback Nevin Lawson during Day 2 of training camp practice.

NEVIN LAWSON

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 5-9, 191

College: Utah State

Experience: Third year

Outlook: Lawson enters training camp as the starter opposite Darius Slay on the outside.

After missing nearly all of his rookie season due to a serious foot injury, Lawson stepped in midseason last year when starter Rashean Mathis suffered a season-ending concussion, and played very well. Opponents completed just 55.7 percent of the passes thrown his way the second half of last season for a 9.8 average. For comparison's sake, both numbers were better than what Slay put up the second half of the season.

Lawson is a physical presence on the edge, a cornerback who isn’t afraid to stick a shoulder on a ball carrier in run support, either.

Head Jim Caldwell is on record as saying Lawson is one of his favorite players for the way he plays the game.

Lawson, along with Slay, nickel cornerback Quandre Diggs and reserve cornerback Alex Carter make up a nice young group with a ton of upside.

Lawson will have to be better this year limiting penalties. He was flagged five times a year ago, which was seventh most among cornerbacks.

Practice report: Lawson had a very good second day of training camp Saturday afternoon.

His first action against receivers came during a goal line one-on-one drill. On Lawson’s first rep, he was beat by Marvin Jones to the corner pylon for a touchdown. But he came right back the next rep vs. Golden Tate and got a terrific jam at the line of scrimmage and then stayed right on Tate's hip the rest of the way to knock the ball away in the back of the end zone.

Lawson has terrific footwork and change of direction skills, which he shows off most impressively in individual drills, but it also translates to one-on-one, seven-on-seven and team drills.

Lawson wasn’t thrown at a whole lot during the offense vs. defense team portion of practice. That's a good sign. The one time he was targeted by quarterback Matthew Stafford, he had tight coverage on Marvin Jones down the left sideline and knocked the ball away.

Quotable: “This camp is different in the sense that (I) know my responsibility. I know how much work I have to put in,” Lawson said after practice Saturday. “I know for a fact that my teammates need me to step up and I want to step up for myself. I put a lot of responsibility and pressure on myself to be better.

“This year I know I have a shot to be a full-time starter, so I just want to do the best that I can and be the best I can every day.”