It's not often a sixth-round rookie cornerback is thrust into a starting role in the NFL and more than holds his own, but that's exactly what Quandre Diggs did for the Detroit Lions last season.
After starting nickel cornerback Josh Wilson went down with a knee injury Nov. 15 in Green Bay, Diggs stepped in the rest of the way. At times, he looked more like a veteran than a rookie Day 3 draft pick.
"We always knew he was a good football player, we just didn't know how he would translate to this league," Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said back in December. "But what you see is the game's not too big for him.
"I think he's very competitive, he's tough, he's a great tackler, and the thing that I think has made his adjustment better is he's got tremendous football IQ. So a lot of these things that sometimes may fool a young guy don't fool him very often, and if they get him once they never get him twice. So I think that's really aided in his development."
Diggs started the last seven games of the season in the slot and finished with 38 tackles, six defended passes and a forced fumble. He was graded the 11th best slot cornerback by Pro Football Focus for the 2015 season.
"Yeah, Quandre had a good season last year for the Lions," GM Bob Quinn said last week at the Combine. "I have fully evaluated him and I think he's a good player, primarily as an inside corner."
Diggs is tough in the slot and isn't afraid to come up and put a lick on a ball carrier. He's a savvy cover man and is only going to get better the more reps he gets and the more schemes he faces.
"That's the best thing that he does and that's a very important position," Quinn said of the slot cornerback role. "You know, we're going to be in sub or nickel defense 70- to 75-percent of the time, so you really need three corners on the field at all times, so he had a good season last year."
If his rookie season was any indication, Diggs appears to be a steal in the sixth round of the draft and could solidify that inside slot spot for Detroit for years to come.