Jim Schwartz was asked this week if he felt there was good competition at corner and he had this to say:
I don’t know that I’ve really gone in saying, ‘You want to have good competition,’ If you have good players, you’ll have competition, but I don’t know we’re really looking to say, ‘We’re trying to have competition.’ We’re trying to have good players, and I think we have a couple there.
The Lions lost Eric Wright in free agency this off season which left an opening at the corner position opposite of Chris Houston. Outside of Houston, the Lions only corner on the roster with significant playing time is Aaron Berry. The Lions also added Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green via the draft this off season, but are any of them ready to start?
With Chris Houston on the last year of his contract and Aaron Berrys’ potential as a starting corner still up in the air, it would appear the Lions have high hopes for one or possibly even two starters emerge from the 2012 draft class.
My guess is that the cornerback competition this year will be a two man race between Aaron Berry and Bill Bentley, and that the Lions hope Chris Greenwood transitions from division III star to NFL starter after he has a season under his belt. Chris Greenwood slipped under the radar of most NFL teams because he played division III football, but he possess the size, skill, and athleticism to be a star in the NFL. I would expect Greenwood to see significant playing time this year as a nickel corner and in special teams if Aaron Berry or Bill Bentley claim the starting job.
That would be a perfect scenario for the Lions if they choose to allow Chris Houston to walk in free agency next off season due to salary cap restraints.
There are so many young corners with potential, but never live up to the hype in the NFL. If two starters emerge from the 2012 draft class at corner then this could prove to be Martin Mayhew’s most successful draft yet.