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2020 training camp preview: Cornerback 

On the roster: Justin Coleman, Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah, Amani Oruwariye, Darryl Roberts, Jamal Agnew, Mike Ford, Tony McRae, Dee Virgin and Mike Jackson

Key losses: Darius Slay and Rashaan Melvin

Table inside Article
Name Games Tackles INT PD FF
Justin Coleman 16 54 1 13 3
Desmond Trufant^ 9 18 4 7 0
Jeff Okudah* 13 34 3 9 1
Amani Oruwariye 9 19 2 3 0
Darryl Roberts^ 13 63 1 6 0
Mike Ford 15 12 0 2 0
Jamal Agnew 13 9 0 0 1
Tony McRae^ 16 22 0 1 0
Dee Virgin 15 10 0 0 1
Mike Jackson 1 0 0 0 0

*college stats ^with another team

Best competition: The top three corners heading into camp appear to be Trufant, Okudah and Coleman in the nickel, but Oruwariye is in a good spot to compete for a role. Detroit's fifth-round pick last year, Oruwariye carved out a role the second half of his rookie season and showed some promise. Can he possibly push the veteran Trufant for a role?

If nothing else, Oruwariye provides the Lions with good depth and the ability to be multiple with some of their defensive packages in the back end because of his size and skill set. Oruwariye tied Slay for the team lead last year with two interceptions. Heading into his second season, he should be even better.

Twentyman's take: Detroit used the No. 3 overall pick on Okudah, and he's impressed teammates and coaches throughout the virtual offseason with his knowledge of the game and his thirst to acquire as much information as he can. He fits the scheme from a mental makeup and physical skill set, so we'll see how that translates to the field when the players return for camp.

Since the 2018 season, Coleman is one of three players in the NFL to accumulate at least 95 tackles, 20 passes defended, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. He's pretty solid in the slot.

The Lions will feel the loss of Slay, who was traded to Philadelphia this offseason. He's still playing at a Pro Bowl level, but it was time to move on based on his age and contract demands. How quickly Okudah can come in and assert himself, and how much Trufant still has in the tank, will go a long way into mitigating that loss. Trufant had four interceptions in just nine games played due to injury last year in Atlanta.

On paper, the Lions appear to have some depth at the position. I talked about Oruwariye above, but McRae comes over from the Jets where he played in 56 games with 26 starts over his first four seasons in the league. He's made 10 starts in each of the last two seasons.

Ford, McRae and Virgin have 78 games (nine starts) between them. Other than Okudah, it's a pretty veteran group at cornerback in Detroit with a lot of games under their belt.

Agnew spent the virtual offseason training program working with the wide receivers, but he's still listed as a cornerback on the Lions roster.

By the numbers:

2: Oruwariye became the first Lions rookie since 2010 to total two interceptions in his debut season.

3: Forced fumbles last year for Coleman, which tied linebacker Jarrad Davis for the team lead. Detroit ranked eighth in the NFL last year forcing 16 fumbles as a defense.

10: The Lions were one of two teams in the NFL to have three cornerbacks record 10 or more passes defended.

43.2: The completion percentage for opposing quarterbacks when throwing at Lions first-round pick Okudah over the last three seasons of his college career.

72: Opponent completions of 20-plus yards against the Lions last season, which tied Arizona for the most allowed in the NFL last season. Detroit's 14 touchdown passes allowed of 20-plus yards were third most in the league.

Quotable: "Jeff is driven like few men I've been around in this profession and I know that and I can tell that albeit a Zoom call," Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said of Okudah this offseason. "The guy is nonstop. To the point where it's like, 'Jeff, can we talk about something, like can we not talk about football for like five minutes? Can we talk about something else? Do you do anything else?' That's how he's wired."

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