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2024 training camp preview: Cornerback

On the roster: Carlton Davis III, Terrion Arnold, Brian Branch, Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Amik Robertson, Emmanuel Moseley, Kindle Vildor, Khalil Dorsey, Steven Gilmore, Morice Norris

Key losses: C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cam Sutton, Will Harris, Jerry Jacobs

Table inside Article
Name Games Tackles INT PD
Carlton Davis III^ 12 52 2 9
Terrion Arnold* 14 63 5 12
Brian Branch 15 74 3 13
Ennis Rakestraw Jr.* 9 35 0 4
Amik Robertson^ 17 50 2 6
Emmanuel Moseley 1 0 0 0
Kindle Vildor 7 11 0 2
Khalil Dorsey 13 11 0 1
Steven Gilmore 3 0 0 0
Morice Norris* 13 59 2 10

^with another team *college stats

Best competition: No. 2 cornerback spot

Lions general manager Brad Holmes described the upcoming competition at cornerback as a bloodbath. Holmes really went to work this offseason revamping a secondary that was part of the 27th ranked pass defense in the NFL last season.

Davis and Arnold where the top outside cornerbacks with the first-team defense during OTAs and minicamp and we'll see if they enter training camp in those roles. Davis is pretty secure at one of the spots after the Lions traded for the veteran this offseason. Can Arnold hold off Robertson, Moseley and others who could challenge for the No. 2 spot in camp?

Twentyman's take: Moseley will be an interesting watch for me. He was a starter for the 49ers on the outside before tearing his ACL. He tore the ACL in his other knee just two plays into his first season in Detroit last year. If he can return to his 2022 form that would be great news for the Lions' depth and will really ramp up the competition on the outside for the No. 2 spot.

I'll also have a close eye on the nickel spot. Branch started there as a rookie and was terrific, but there's been talk this offseason of expanding his role to possibly include some safety which could allow players like Robertson and Rakestraw to get reps in the slot. Even a guy like Dorsey, who is further down the depth chart, had a great spring with a couple interceptions in practice.

This is the most talented collection of cornerbacks the Lions have had in some time and there are going to be players who don't make this team who will go on to help other teams this season, which is a good position to be in heading into camp.

View photos of Detroit Lions first-round pick Terrion Arnold from the 2024 offseason.

By the numbers:

5: Interceptions recorded by Arnold last season at Alabama, tied for sixth in the FBS. Arnold's 17 passes defensed (including five interceptions) were the fifth most in the FBS.

29: Davis played for Tampa Bay last season and in two games against the Lions (Week 6 & NFC Divisional playoffs) the Lions threw nine passes in Davis' coverage area, completing five of those for just 29 combined yards and no touchdowns.

74: Tackles recorded by Branch as a rookie (50 solo) to go along with 13 passes defended, seven tackles for loss and three interceptions.

209: Passing first downs allowed by the Lions' defense in 2023 (ranked 29th).

247.4: Opponent average passing yards per game vs. Detroit last season, which ranked 27th.

Quotable: "Yeah, it's a bloodbath in there now. It is, and that's what makes everything better," Holmes said of the expected competition at cornerback. "It makes the room better, it makes the defense better, it makes the team better. Competition just brings the best out of everybody."

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