CB AJ Parker
Parker often gets exposed often in the nickel, slot corner role. He’s a step slow and struggles in run support. Rookie Chase Lucas would ideally push him for playing time and get some experience as the rest of the season goes on.
2023: Backup or Signs elsewhere
CB Amani Oruwariye
Oruwariye has really declined after a solid 2021 season—in both his tangible play and to a greater extent his mental awareness on the field. He benched for a game earlier this season, and more recently he had embarrassing back-to-back offsides penalties against Miami. Currently, he’s the lowest-graded cornerback in the league according to Pro Football Focus. Oruwariye is in the final year of his rookie contract.
With Oruwariye’s performance decline this year, it would be hard to see any teams giving up much return in a trade. On the contrary, it may benefit the Lions to resign him to a cap-friendly one year prove-it deal in the offseason, as there may not be much demand for his services.
Regardless, big cornerbacks with this skillset do not grow on trees. This is a tough call the Lions must ponder this offseason.
2023: Not re-signed, or agrees to a cap friendly prove-it deal with incentives
CB Chase Lucas
Lucas was the 237th overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft out of Arizona State. As seen on HBO’s Hard Knocks over the summer, he has swagger and does not lack for confidence. He is on an inexpensive rookie contract and should be given the chance to develop.
CB Jerry Jacobs
The 2021 UDFA from Arkansas is playing is signed through the 2023 season after which he will become an RFA in 2024. He is not breaking the bank with his cap number with his base salary of $825,000 this year and $940,000 in 2023.
Jacobs has flashed potential and playmaking ability when healthy. He was just activated from the PUP list on October 23 after tearing his ACL last December, and the way things are going he’ll plenty over the rest of this season.
2023: Competes for starting job, likely a backup
CB Mike Hughes
The talent and pedigree is there, as Hughes stands 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. He makes up for his lack of size with an attacking, physical style of play. He is one of the Lions’ better defensive backs against the run.
Hughes is playing on a one-year contract.
2023: Signs another one-year, incentive-laden deal