If the Detroit Lions lose their Pro Bowl corner in Darius Slay this offseason, this veteran cornerback could be an adequate replacement.
The Detroit Lions have so far made it clear this offseason that are okay with parting ways with Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay this offseason, as general manager Bob Quinn recently said that everything is on the table with Slay.
According to rumors reported by Bleacher Report, the Lions have spoke to multiple teams about trading their stud corner, and if both parties can’t agree upon on a new deal, the front office is starting to picture with what life without Slay would look like.
If the Lions do part ways with Slay, finding a replacement for him in free agency is a top priority, as even if they address their depth at corner in the draft, no prospect is going to be even 75 percent of what Slay is now right away.
"“If Harris is available, he would be an ideal fit for the Detroit Lions. Matt Patricia has traditionally utilized versatile defenders, and Harris is capable of playing on the outside and in the nickel. Harris would also fill a massive need for the Lions, who finished dead-last in pass defense.”"
The Lions have shown interest in acquiring Harris Jr. since last year’s trade deadline, Even though Harris Jr. is on the wrong side of 30, he has quietly been one of the best corners in football over the last half-decade, earning a Pro Bowl bid in four of the last six years while tallying 13 interceptions and 57 passes defended in that time.
If Detroit decides to move on from Slay, they would likely draft Ohio State cornerback Jeffery Okudah. Being that he is regarded as the best man coverage corner in the draft, he would fit into head coach Matt Patricia’s man-heavy scheme pretty well.
While the fit does seem nice for Okudah in Detroit, it oftentimes takes rookies a season or two to get up to pro speed and figure out the schemes of the defenses they have to play.
While Okudah is learning the ropes of the NFL, Harris Jr. could be a more-than-capable short-term solution as Detroit’s No. 1 corner while young players like Okudah, Justin Coleman and Amani Oruwariye develop.
As talented of a defensive guru as Vic Fangio is in Denver, it didn’t appear that Harris Jr. fit well into the coaches’ scheme and, like Slay, he is keeping his options open.
If Chris Harris Jr. can accept a leadership role and help the young guys learn Detroit’s man-heavy scheme, he could earn his fifth Pro Bowl bid as a Lions next season.