Detroit Lions: The one thing holding back Darius Slay is…
An insider believes there is only one thing holding back Detroit Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay from becoming a household name.
A second round selection out of Mississippi State in 2013, the Detroit Lions elected to signed cornerback Darius Slay to a four-year, $50.2 million contract extension last July. They did so after Slay proved to be one of the best players at his position in the entire league.
Last season, Slay was able to record 44 total tackles, 13 pass defends, two interceptions and a sack in 13 games despite dealing with a nagging hamstring injury most of the year. He was even named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after he forced a game-changing fumble and recorded the game-sealing interception to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-23 in Week Five.
Although Detroit fans know how talented Mr. Slay is, the rest of the NFL is playing catch up. And part of the reason why is the fact 26-year old Lions’ cornerback has yet to receive to Pro Bowl nod. And one NFL insider believes he knows why.
"“For [Slay] to reach the true elite level of corner, he needs to start forcing turnovers,” wrote ESPN Staff Writer Michael Rothstein earlier this week. “It’s one of the few legitimate reasons to explain why he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet. He’s exactly what Detroit needs at corner, a fast player with good instincts and strong ball skills…Considering his big personality and friendliness with fans, higher turnover totals could transition Slay into a household name.”"
During his four seasons in the Motor City, Slay has recorded a total of six interceptions.
In comparison, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who plays in the same division, got his first Pro Bowl nomination last year after recording 52 total tackles, 11 pass defends, five interceptions and a defensive touchdown. Prior to last season, the 27-year old Rhodes had a career total of only two interceptions.
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It’s clear the only thing holding back Detroit Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay from becoming a household name is more interceptions. And the Lions themselves really could use a boost in that particular area, as the team finished tied for 28th in the NFL with only 14 total takeaways in 2016.