The Detroit Lions biggest offseason need is at cornerback, and these five free agents should be on their radar.
Sometimes, change is a very good thing. When talking about the Detroit Lions cornerback depth chart inevitably wholesale changing from the 2022 to the 2023 seasons, it’s unequivocally going to be a very good thing. Amani Oruwariye, Will Harris and Mike Hughes are free agents, and all three should be gone without much question.
A deep class of cornerbacks, and having five of the first 82 picks, will give the Lions the opportunity to add via the draft. But a notable dip into free agency, or the trade market for someone like Jalen Ramsey as they linger as a possible suitor for him, is definitely in play. Practically nothing should be out of bounds when it comes to trying to add a top cornerback this offseason, but acquiring a veteran (or two) to go with an incoming rookie is within the range of possible plans.
As free agency gets closer, these five cornerbacks should be on the Lions radar.
5 free agent cornerbacks the Detroit Lions should target
5. P.J. Williams
2022 Team: New Orleans Saints
Williams had a disappointing 2022 season back with the New Orleans Saints, missing six games with just 26 total tackles and just 297 total snaps (a 40 percent rate in the games he played). He has transitioned to safety, but he has experience as a slot corner and has usually been effective in the role.
Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was the Saints defensive backs coach from 2016-2020, overlapping with Williams all of those years of course. When trying to prop up Will Harris early last offseason, via SI.com, here’s what Glenn said.
"Will Harris has a lot of value, as far as a player just in general, because he’s played every position in the back end that you can imagine. I had a guy like this named P.J. Williams with the Saints, and he was just like Will. Actually, he wasn’t as good of an athlete as Will, but the one thing that he was, he was very smart,”….”At the drop of a hat, we can put him in that position that he didn’t get a lot of reps in that week."
Williams has had better years than he did last year, and even at his worst he has pretty much been better than Harris has ever been. Signing him would surely not be the only move the Lions make in free agency at cornerback, but it might be a nice buy-low start with a potential endorsement from Glenn.