After Monday’s firing of defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, let’s look at the future of the Detroit Lions secondary.
Something had to be done to atone for the Detroit Lions’ league-worst defense. The first step was the firing of defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. There is potential in the Lions current defensive backs’ group, but they need a serious influx of talent via the 2023 NFL draft or free agency.
Here is a look at where the Detroit Lions secondary currently stands nearly halfway through the season and some potential moves to help bolster a unit that desperately needs it.
CB Jeff Okudah
Okudah has been the best defender on the team this year. Along with Aidan Hutchinson, Malcolm Rodriguez, Kerby Joseph, John Paschal and Alim McNeill, he’s part of a talented young foundation to build around.
This time last year it would have been crazy to call him a foundational piece of the Lions’ defense going forward, but that is exactly where we are. In addition to providing sticky coverage, Okudah has flashed as one of the better run-defending cornerbacks in the league this year.
2023: Starter and foundational piece of rebuild
S Tracy Walker
Walker has skill and he believes in the Lions turnaround plan. He is a team leader and hits with authority. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles in Week 3 against Minnesota and is out for the season. It’s tough to know how he will recover, but Okudah’s experience with
S Ifeatu Melifonwu
Melifonwu provides great size with positional versatility. Switched to safety after playing corner during his rookie year. Third-round pick will hopefully develop into solid depth player with upside.
2023: Solid depth and emerging spot-starter
S Deshon Elliott
A former sixth-round pick out of Texas by Baltimore, the 25-year old is a physical hybrid-linebacker type. He’s better suited as backup, albeit as important depth piece and a possible starter. Currently on a one-year prove it deal, at veteran minimum salary of $965,000.
2023 Prediction: Lions let him sign elsewhere
S Kerby Joseph
Kerby Joseph is starting to emerge as a rangy playmaker, stepping as a starter with Walker’s injury. Not afraid to attack and high-point the ball. The 2022 third-round pick out of Illinois understands the wide receiver’s mindset having briefly played it during his college career in Champaign.
2023 Prediction: Emerging starter with upside