After a solid preseason opener performance, Isa Abdul-Quddus has put himself in prime position to make the final 53-man roster.
Prior to training camp, I gave Abdul-Quddus about a 45 percent chance of making the team. I noted that other than Quin, he may be the best cover safety on this team, and I still stand by that statement.
Abdul-Quddus was a fan favorite in New Orleans, and some fans were shocked by his release. Saints’ SB Nation blog Canal Street Chronicles even ranked Abdul-Quddus as the 25th best player on the roster heading into the 2013 season.
As it turns out, AQ ended up playing only 98 snaps last year and had little to no impact during his final year with the Saints prior to his release.
Over the course of his career (including playoffs) with the Saints, AQ received a +9.0 coverage grade, which was the highest among all of his peers during that stretch.
Below is a table taken from the linked article above, courtesy of Canal Street Chronicles. The data was acquired from Pro Football Focus.
|Coverage Snaps||Thrown At||Comp %||Passer Rating||INTs||Passes Def.||PFF Coverage Grade|
In 2012, Abdul-Quddus was by far the best cover safety for the Saints. He was in for only 340 coverage snaps, but still managed to have the most passes defensed, along with two interceptions.
Quarterbacks completed only 43.8 percent of their passes with a 21.9 QB rating when throwing his way.
During the preseason opener against the Browns, PFF gave AQ the second highest grade on defense for the Lions (+3.3).
He was targeted just two times, neither of which were completed, while one was intercepted on a poorly thrown ball by Tyler Thigpen.
If AQ wants to make the final roster for the Lions, he will need to contribute on special teams. He will most likely be competing with teammates DeJon Gomes and Jerome Couplin for one of the final safety spots, depending on how many the Lions keep.
As I mentioned before, I strongly believe that Isa Abdul-Quddus is the best cover safety on this team not named Glover Quin. He is a solid contributer on special teams, and at this point I would be relatively shocked if the Lions couldn’t find a role for him.