Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Draft Profile: Safety Dominick Sanders

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Safety Dominick Sanders
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Safety Dominick Sanders /

Preparing for the future is something every team should do. The Detroit Lions could find a future replacement at free safety in the later rounds.

Free safety Glover Quin (32) has been one of the best signings in recent memory for the Detroit Lions. He’s not getting any younger, so it isn’t a bad idea to start looking for his replacement.

Quandre Diggs made quite the impression switching from cornerback to safety, but he’s likely to move on once his contract’s up after this year. Tavon Wilson and Miles Killebrew fit more of the strong safety profile. The other options are depth players that offer little long-term.

Once the Lions take care of a few holes earlier on, safety is a realistic position they’ll target further in the draft. One that was very productive and projected as a day three pick is former Georgia Bulldog Dominick Sanders.

Interceptions came frequently for Sanders, picking off four passes in 2017. Following his tied school record of 53 starts, he finished tied for first with interceptions (16) and first overall with interception yards (381).

Sanders is like an extra cornerback out on the field. Ball-hawking skills and instincts makes up for elite speed and athleticism.

Although he’s around the ball when it’s in the air, attacking the football on the ground is a different story. With only 156 tackles to his name, he’s not a machine taking ball carriers down. There was improvement this past season but it’s still an area of concern heading into the NFL.

Next: Lions NFL draft 3.0: 7-rounds, beyond the mock

Investing a fifth-seventh round pick is all it would take to find a potentially solid heir to Quin. In a passing league, teams need players who can flip the field on the defensive side. Sanders looks like a steal that has the time and mentorship to develop with the possibility to make a difference creating turnovers right away.