Lions’ needs on defense lie up the middle

PFF's analysis team takes a look at draft needs for the Detroit Lions, as well as prospects that could fit.

| 2 months ago
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Lions’ needs on defense lie up the middle


  • Lions LBs allowed a catch rate of 83.2 percent and passer rating against of 120.4 last season; both ranked last in the NFL.
  • LB Tahir Whitehead earned a coverage grade of just 42.5, which ranked 73rd of 76 eligible LBs.
  • Lions SCB starter Quandre Diggs earned a coverage grade of just 47.9, 98th among 110 eligible CBs in the 2016 season. Diggs surrendered a catch rate of 91.3 percent and passer rating against of 124.4.
  • The Lions signed Paul Worrilow, who has poor career marks in coverage, including a catch rate against of 77.8 percent and an NFL passer rating against of 115.8.
  • D.J. Hayden (48.9 coverage grade in 2016) was brought in to play SCB in 2017. He has surrendered a career passer rating against of 101.2 when lined up in the slot.

Detroit Lions Coverage grades

2017 NFL Draft prospect that could help:

  • Ohio’s Blair Brown (85.6 coverage grade in the 2016 season) and UCLA’s Jayon Brown (87.2) are coverage specialists at the linebacker position and could likely be selected on Day 2 or 3 of the draft.
  • Washington safety Budda Baker earned a coverage grade of 85.0 in 2016. When defending the slot, he allowed a catch rate of just 57 percent and passer rating against of 57.4. Baker will likely require a pick in the first two rounds.

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