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Campbell undecided on where versatile DB Will Harris will line up in 2022

Will Harris played 317 snaps for the Detroit Lions last year as a free safety, 238 as a slot cornerback, 227 as a wide cornerback and 195 as a box safety. Harris did a little bit of everything for Detroit's defense last year.

When asked recently where he views Harris heading into 2022, Lions head coach Dan Campbell smiled and referred to Harris as a "cafety."

"He's a hybrid," Campbell said. "He really is. He's a jack of all trades. I think Will – part of his strength is his versatility. That's one of his greatest attributes, which we came to find out last year."

Harris started the year at safety, but after the team lost cornerbacks Jeff Okudah, Ifeatu Melifonwu, AJ Parker and Jerry Jacobs to injuries during the course of the season, Harris was moved to cornerback where he showed he could play both inside and outside, if needed. He played the slot when Parker was put on injured reserve in November, and moved outside when Jacobs was lost to an ACL tear in December.

"We would have not known that (he could play corner) had we not had the injuries and COVID and everything else," Campbell said. "I think he's a jack of all trades."

Harris, who was a third-round pick by the Lions in 2019, recorded 93 tackles (62 solo) with four passes defended, one sack and one forced fumble last season. Opposing passers completed 73.4 percent of the passes thrown his way with a 123.0 passer rating, and he was credited by Pro Football Reference with allowing five touchdowns. Only one of those touchdowns came while he was playing safety.

More importantly, he showed coaches he's willing and able to play multiple roles on defense, and there's value in players like that.

The Lions have no clear starter to pair with Tracy Walker at safety ahead of the NFL Draft later this month, though Lions general manager Brad Holmes has said this is a strong defensive back class. The Lions have five picks in the Top 100 and could certainly look to add to the position in the first few rounds.

Detroit is a little deeper at cornerback after the signing of veteran Mike Hughes in free agency and the return of last year's No. 1 cornerback, Amani Oruwariye, along with Melifonwu and Parker. Okudah and Jacobs could also return to the field sometime this summer.

But in Harris, the Lions know they have a player who can move around and play in a lot of different spots. Entering his fourth season, Harris is in the last year of his rookie contract and will no-doubt be looking to have a breakout 2022 season, wherever he settles in at.

"We're still talking right now. You just go out Day 1 and do you put him at corner? Do you put him at safety?" Campbell said. "And I'll be honest with you, we haven't just locked that down right now. We're still kind of talking about it and that's not a bad thing."

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