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3. Is third round pick, CB Alex Carter the right heir-apparent to Rashean Mathis?
Platte – “Maybe. The Lions needed to pick a player that could take over for the aging Rashean Mathis as well as the declining and aging James Ihedigbo. They kind of did both by drafting Alex Carter, which might also mean they did neither if he fails to live up to those expectations. Still, Teryl Austin’s system has never needed elite defensive back play, just players who know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do. So whether he stays at corner or switches to safety, I think they got a guy who can do his job within the system.”
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DeMara – “Given his size and coverage ability, that’s the natural comparison. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Quandre Diggs might actually be a better Mathis replacement. As we know, Mathis loves to get dirty in run support with tackles and big hits. Though he’s a bit smaller, Diggs plays with that type of gritty edge too.”
Shackelford – “Corners are tough to gauge. I guess my response to that question depends on whether or not the Lions’ defense gets two more seasons of Teryl Austin. If Austin stays, I believe Carter could be a very capable starting corner in Detroit. He may be a very capable starter for Detroit anyway given his physical traits and football I.Q., but I think it may take a while longer if Austin gets a head coaching job after the season.”
Fischer – “Mathis had a great season last year but the fountain of youth could run dry at any minute. Carter should figure to be the starter by the end of the season.”
Williams – “Carter didn’t post flashy numbers in college, (2 interceptions and 17 pass deflections) but quarterbacks also rarely threw in his direction. His size demands respect on the field, hopefully he can take advantage of a great coaching staff and his natural abilities. If he does, he could easily be a starter sooner rather than later.”
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