Number to look out for: No. 39
Measurables: 6-1, 207 lbs.
I recently put Hester as the last cornerback to make the Lions final 53-man roster. His size/speed combination is intriguing, but unlike fellow cornerback Chris Greenwood, Hester’s measurables have been translating to the field.
He was relatively unheard of coming into training camp, but as Jeff Risdon notes, he’s played extremely well throughout camp and definitely is making a case to make the final roster.
"Hester is very smooth in movement, but he showed he can throw his weight around. In one rep he dropped a shoulder and thumped the receiver. Another time Hester anticipated the double move and closed quickly on the route, shielding Golden Tate down the sideline and eliminating a throwing angle. That’s precisely the kind of play Austin wants from his corners."
Hester’s solid play continued at Lions practice finished up on Wednesday night:
Hester once looked like a long shot to even make the practice squad, but now has a real shot to show his worth. The first preseason game will be big for the young cornerback to make an impression amongst a crowded secondary.
What to watch for against Cleveland:
This will be the first live NFL action most Lions fans will see from Hester. He played 123 snaps with Denver last preseason, but finished with a paltry -6.3 grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Make sure to pay attention which unit (first, second, third, etc.) they line him up with.
Because the TV broadcast angle makes it tough to really watch cornerbacks just pay attention to where he’s lined up pre snap, and how he performs. Are they asking him to press at the line of scrimmage? Or do they have him playing him in a softer zone? This same concept will be something to watch with the of the cornerback throughout the night.