Quandre Diggs a serious contender for starting slot corner

Posted May 29, 2015

The Lions already have sixth-round pick Quandre Diggs taking some first-team reps at the nickel cornerback spot in OTAs.

Quandre Diggs isn’t the kind of player who will wow anyone with his measurables. He’s not one of those guys who is impressive in shorts running the 40-yard dash or jumping out of the gym over at the vertical jump.

Diggs is what coaches refer to as a gamer. His true value isn’t revealed until he’s on the field, in the action and lined up across receivers.

Quandre DiggsCB Quandre Diggs (Photo: Detroit Lions)

The coaching staff at the University of Texas learned that fact rather quickly. Diggs stepped on campus and was so impressive early on he started as a freshman.

The Lions, who selected Diggs in the sixth round earlier this month, already have him taking some first-team reps at the nickel cornerback spot in OTAs.

“He’s not going to have the measurables that we like,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said of the 5-foot-9, 198-pound Diggs. “He doesn’t have the length, he doesn’t have the height, but what he does have is a good understanding of football. He makes quick reactions, he has good eyes, good hands, good feet. That’s what you need as a defensive back.”

It's what coaches look for in a slot cornerback, in particular.

The Lions signed veteran Josh Wilson this offseason to compete for the slot cornerback role. They still have Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson coming off injury and not yet able to fully participate in OTA practice, but Diggs is obviously emerging early on this offseason as a serious contender for the role.

“I like that guy,” Austin said of Diggs. “He’s scrappy, he’s tough, he’s got good ball skills, he’s got good football sense that I’ve seen so far.

“So, we’ll just see once we get into pads, once we get him in game situations, but I think he’s got a great background. Obviously, he’s got a great resource in his brother (former NFL cornerback Quentin Jammer) in terms of how this game is played. What you do, what do you need to do to be successful, so it looks like he’s used that. I’m pleased with where he is right now.”