Detroit Lions Roster: Good Things That Mean Bad Things

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Wilson Makes the Roster

Josh Wilson was purportedly a good nickelback last season.  Oh, he wasn’t a good cornerback and he wasn’t on a good defense, but according to PFF he did well when asked to cover the nickel.  This easily would have been true in previous seasons, where Wilson was a known commodity on the inside.  The journeyman made this his 5th team after receiving a notable signing bonus, making him a near lock to make the final Detroit Lions roster. The nickelback position was a disaster after starter Bill Bentley (Later cut) and backup Nevin Lawson went down with season ending injuries, it makes sense to address the position, right?

Looking Closer:  PFF gave Wilson a good grade as a nickelback last season, but I never saw it.  I was actually more upset when we signed Josh Wilson than I was when we signed Cassius Vaughn early in 2014.  His overall PFF grade agrees with that fear as he graded out only slightly ahead of Vaughn for his 2014 work overall.  Wilson is a terrible outside receiver, so the whole “He can also play outside!” argument makes me laugh.  Wilson is a vet with starting experience, not a starting caliber player.

Who it Hurts:  The Detroit Lions roster has seen immense turnover in their defensive backfield, but no position more than cornerback.  The team has drafted one or more cornerbacks in every draft, including this one.  6th round pick Quandre Diggs (A PFF favorite) has been making waves in camp, in fact already beating out Josh Wilson pretty soundly.  2014 4th round pick Nevin Lawson was selected specifically to play nickel, so he’d be the biggest loser from a snap standpoint if Wilson makes the roster.  Then there’s Alex Carter, the team’s 3rd round pick from this season, who will lose any chance to see the field if a vet is kept around.  Carter would in essence be the 6th CB in this situation, meaning the team would be keeping 6 instead of 5, potentially harming depth at another position.  Josh Wilson was a knee jerk signing, and if he makes the roster it’s possibly hurting more than just the cornerback position and possibly more than just for 2015.

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