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Camp Spotlight: Cornerback Rashaan Melvin

RASHAAN MELVIN

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 194

College: Northern Illinois

Experience: 7th season

Outlook: Melvin enters his seventh NFL season after playing for Oakland last year, where he appeared in 14 games (seven starts) and totaled 56 tackles with an interception. Prior to Oakland, he spent time with Indianapolis (2016-17), New England (2015) and Baltimore (2014-15).

That stint with the Patriots in 2015 coincided with Lions head coach Matt Patricia being the defensive coordinator in New England, so Melvin came to Detroit familiar with both scheme and coaching style.

Melvin is attempting to earn a starting spot on the outside opposite Darius Slay. His size and man-to-man skill set look to be a nice fit in Detroit. He's had a nice start to his training camp so far. On Friday, he stepped in front of a Matthew Stafford pass intended for Kenny Golladay and picked it off.

Melvin's played in 51 games (28 starts) and has 174 tackles, four interceptions and 30 pass breakups in his career. He's a willing tackler, which is an important trait in this defense from the cornerback position. He should be right in the mix for a starting spot through camp.

View photos of cornerback Rashaan Melvin from Day 3 of 2019 Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Practice report: The Lions were in pads for the first time Saturday during training camp, and that meant the physicality of practice ramped up a bit.

Melvin continues to play with the first-team defense opposite Teez Tabor on the outside at cornerback. Darius Slay remains on the NFI list, so Melvin and Tabor are benefitting from the reps.

In one-on-one drills against the receivers, Melvin matched up against Kenny Golladay and then against Marvin Jones Jr. Golladay was able to catch a ball on a quick comeback route for a small gain. Jones did a good job putting a little bit of space between himself and Melvin at the top of a deep out route. A perfect throw to Jones' outside shoulder got another completion on the board against Melvin.

One thing I noticed when watching Melvin at practice is he isn't afraid of contact, and that goes for supporting the run as well. There's no tackling right now, but Melvin is always quick to come up, and is always working on his technique as a tackler.

In team drills at the end of practice, Melvin made a terrific play batting a ball away from Jermaine Kearse on a crossing route. Melvin was right there, and timed it perfect to knock away the Stafford pass.

Quotable: "He's a big, long corner. He's a guy that's familiar with the different techniques and fundamentals that we've played through the course of the year," Patricia said of Melvin. "He's a guy that naturally falls into some of the scheme things that we do and some of the stuff that we do on the field."

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