This Detroit Lions defender is finally getting some much deserved recognition, landing on the league’s Next Gen Stats All-Pro team this week.
One of the best kept secrets in the NFL has been the play of Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay. Since being drafted in the second round out of Mississippi State back in 2013, Slay has arguably been the Lions’ best defensive player at times during his five-year career in the Motor City.
Between 2014 and 2016, Slay averaged 55 total tackles, 14 pass defends and two interceptions a season. But he has yet to be named to the Pro Bowl. Many believe that’s mainly due to Slay’s lack of interceptions, having just recorded six picks in his four previous seasons.
But that could all change this year, as Slay has posted 15 total tackles, seven pass defends and two interceptions through his first four games so far this season! The 26-year old is on pace to have his best year yet in the Motor City, and the national media is starting to give him the recognition he so richly deserves.
This week, the league’s official website named Slay to their Next Gen Stats All-Pro team through the first quarter of the regular season.
"“One of the best players on the Lions’ stop unit is underrated top corner Darius Slay,” wrote Matt Harmon on NFL.com. “Through four games, opposing quarterbacks have a paltry 42.7 passer rating when throwing at Slay. He’s allowed a mere 57.1 percent of the target against him to end up as a reception and he’s picked off two of them. Slay’s best work through the quarter mark came against Julio Jones in Week 3. The Lions corner tracked and covered Jones on 73.3 percent of his pass plays and gave up just 50 yards on eight targets.”"
Darius Slay has proven time and time again that he is one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league. And it’s about time the NFL recognized that. If Slay can continue to build on his takeaway total as this season progresses, he will undoubtedly make his first Pro Bowl appearance.