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2017 Combine Preview: Cornerback

Darius Slay has emerged as one of the bright young cornerbacks in this league for the Detroit Lions.

Opposite Slay, Nevin Lawson had a good season as a first-time starter, and should only get better.

Behind Slay and Lawson, however, the Lions could use more talent and more depth.

Slot cornerback Quandre Diggs had a very good rookie season, but wasn't as sharp last season. He was targeted 45 times before a pectoral injury put him on IR, and gave up 41 receptions, per Pro Football Focus statistics. Quarterbacks had a 124.2 passer rating throwing his way.

The Lions lost two of the three games Slay missed due to injury (hamstring) when they were forced to rely on their depth.

Teams can never have too many good cornerbacks. It's a position that is typically one of the more injury prone in the league.

With the NFL Scouting Combine fast approaching, here's a look at some of the cornerbacks to keep an eye on during the week in Indianapolis:


School: Ohio State

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 192

View photos of the prospects participating in the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.

Best trait: Athleticism. He's got great length and blankets receivers with his speed and cover skills. He was targeted 35 times this past season and was credited with 13 passes defended, including four interceptions. He excels at the line of scrimmage playing close man with receivers.

Concern: He's had chronic issues with his hamstrings that have resulted in surgery. He only has one full year of starting experience, so there might be a learning curve at the NFL level.

The skinny: Lattimore is a terrific athlete and natural cover man who possesses great ball skills. He'll have to learn some things on the run, but most of the corners in this class can't match his athleticism.


School: Washington

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 170

Best trait: Playmaker. Jones was an All-Pac recipient the last two seasons with 20 pass breakups and seven interceptions combined over that stretch. He has nine career interceptions, and got a hand on 21.3 percent of balls thrown his way over last two seasons, according to

Concern: At 170 pounds, he has a slender frame, but he is more physical and tougher than his frame might suggest. The only problem is: Will he be durable?

The skinny: He has a knack for covering receivers and getting his hands on the football. He looks to have great instincts and should be a solid cover man in the NFL.


School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 196

Best trait: Size. He fits the mold of what teams are looking for at the position these days. Humphrey has length and strength, and was a state champion sprinter and hurdler in high school. He plays physical, and isn't afraid to mix it up with anyone.

Concern: Humphrey has to get better with his technique and footwork. He was such a super athlete that he relied on that at times in college. You can't do that at the NFL level. His ball skills are average.

The skinny: A super athlete that checks off all the physical boxes. Teams that are looking for a physical man corner on the outside will probably have a tough time passing on Humphrey.


School: Florida

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 201

Best trait: Ball skills. The All-SEC pick the last two seasons had eight interceptions and 20 pass breakups over that span. He's at his best when the ball is in the air, and he has a great burst to get his hands on it.

Concern: His 40 time and testing results at the Combine will be big. Some question his long speed. He also ran into a few off-the-field issues at Florida, so the interviews will be important as well.

The skinny: He's a pure cover corner with a knack for intercepting the football. If he runs well at the Combine, he'll come off the board among the top four or five corners in the class.


School: LSU

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 191

Best trait: Versatility. He ranked eighth nationally last season with 14 pass breakups. He played both outside on an island and in the slot at LSU, which makes him a little more pro-ready than some others in the class. He was at his best against elite receiver talent.

Concern: He has to add muscle and strength to his frame, especially if teams peg him to play inside.

The skinny: He started the better part of four seasons in the SEC, so he has a lot of reps under his belt against elite competition. He can play a number of spots and on a number of different sub packages if needed.


School: Florida

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 213

Best trait: Size. Wilson is big, physical and doesn't mind mixing it up. He'll also come up and support the run. He and Tabor made up one of the best cornerback duos in the college game last season.

Concern: He relies on his size and strength rather than speed and athleticism. Some teams could see him as a safety.

The skinny: A physically gifted cornerback who might struggle at times against shifty, quick receivers. If teams are looking for a physical presence in their secondary, Wilson could be their guy.


School: Michigan

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 188

Best trait: Cover skills. Lewis allowed 13 receptions in 2016 for a completion percentage against of 29.5 and an opponent passer rating of 37.9, per Pro Football Focus stats. He had an incredible 20 pass breakups as a junior. He has some of the best ball skills of anyone in this class. He can also return kicks.

Concern: Lewis doesn't have ideal size, which might concern some teams about how he'll matchup against some of this league's bigger and more physical receivers on the outside.

The skinny: Lewis has great ball skills and is technically sound, but his size might limit him to the slot. If that's what a team is looking for, he's a great fit.

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