Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
4. Quandre Diggs Will Win The Nickel Cornerback Spot
The 2002 NFL Draft. Do I even need to remind you?
If you don’t remember, or perhaps you’ve simply removed that moment of time from your memory bank as humans tend to do with unpleasant thoughts, it was the year former Lions general manager Matt Millen drafted quarterback Joey Harrington No. 3 overall.
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sportss
At the time, then head coach Marty Mornhinweg wanted cornerback Quentin Jammer. Mornhinweg was not high on Harrington’s potential at the pro level, and as it turns out his doubts were warranted.
Jammer would go on to have a productive 12-year career, and would enjoy considerable success with the San Diego Chargers while Harrington — well, you know the story.
The connection here lies in the fact that Jammer is also the older brother of Quandre Diggs, the Detroit Lions sixth-round pick in this years NFL Draft.
Diggs, a four-year player with 49 starts in 52 games played for the Texas Longhorns, had 11 career interceptions, with a one-season high of four in 2011 and 2012; 37 pass breakups and 17 tackles for loss.
Additionally, he was also a viable special teams contributor, returning 27 punts for an average of 11.2 yards and 20 kickoffs for an average of 19.6.
“It just continues to put a chip on my shoulder.” – Diggs at Lions rookie mini camp
He has taken knocks in his past for his lack of size and speed, but he makes up for that with confidence and intensity. He’s also not afraid to compete, and that is evident from his on-the-field play.
Lions’ cornerbacks coach Tony Oden’s take:
"“He’s a versatile guy. He’s mature beyond his years. He’s very, very durable. Availability is one thing that intrigues us about him.”"
"“There are a lot of players ahead of Diggs to think he’ll make a significant contribution as a rookie. Starting experience should help him make a roster spot, but he has to overcome physical limitations.”"
"“The kid started as a true freshman at Texas as a 5-foot-9 cornerback. He’s tough and he grew up around the game with his brother, Quentin Jammer, being a 12-year NFL veteran at cornerback.”"
"“Diggs is durable and he’s smart. He seems to be the same kind of player as Nevin Lawson (drafted in fourth round last year). There are always holes in the games of late-round prospects, but the Lions will see what they have starting next weekend at the rookie minicamp.”"
My take: Diggs will show up to training camp ready to play, and will eventually earn the starting nickel spot on the Detroit Lions defense.
Next: Can The Defense Dominate Once Again?