Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Vaughn was an unheralded free agent acquisition that didn’t exactly get fans buzzing. A former starter in Indianapolis, Vaughn was generally graded negatively and Indy fans couldn’t wait to see him leave. Hearing him talked up in previous camps, I often likened him to former camp stand out Jonathan Wade, who was a disaster when he finally saw the field.
I’m going to have to eat crow on this one, as Vaughn was easily the best CB on the field today. Generally covered well, mostly kept his hands off the receivers away from the line (Was called once, though), and pretty much made me look bad for doubting him. Reshean Mathis didn’t do much today and there are indications the Lions will keep him on a sort of pitch count during games to preserve him. That’s good news for Vaughn, who is clearly the number 3 corner right now.
Many Lions fans weren’t excited with the Lawson pick due to his size, but the feisty cornerback out of Utah State had mountains of playmaking ability and physicality that played beyond that limitation. The biggest drawback to Lawson was that he tended to get grabby, pulling on jerseys and such which resulted in an inordinate amount of penalties. His ability to play effectively from the slot made him a target for the Lions, however, and they picked him in the 4th round.
Lawson had an awful day in camp. With NFL referee Walt Coleman on the field, and having given the players a brief on the new contact rules, Lawson looked completely out of place. The hope is that it’s just over-thinking things and being taken out of his comfort zone, something that can be fixed. It’s a real possibility, however, that Lawson just isn’t able to cover if he can’t get his hands on receivers. That will be a problem if he sees the field, especially early in the season with this new rule in effect.