At this point all of the first tier and upper second tier corners were no longer available. However, Long was available and was a no-brainer pick for me. He is a physical press corner, who while a little undersized and not the most aggressive in run support, is still a very solid cornerback to land at the back end of round three.
Long would not be pressed to start right away after the signings of cornerbacks Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin and could learn from three corners who have all been very successful at one point or another in their careers. Long would be able to step in and play when needed this year while being brought along slowly ensuring successful development.
Long would most likely be the number two outside starter opposite star cornerback Darius Slay come next year, but could find himself on the field in various roles as a rookie as he can play both in the slot and on the outside. Long has been a very good corner for Michigan over the years and is not receiving the respect he deserves throughout the draft community.
A recent tweet by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus (@PFF_Mike) detailed some interesting notes:
Starting out as the fourth corner on the Lions would likely allow him to get more comfortable when playing zone before being asked to play it a lot and I’m sure that Lions coaches can get him to do better with run support. Long would be a good value pick at 88th overall and would fill a need for the team.