4 cornerbacks Detroit Lions should target to replace Cameron Sutton in the draft

Shifting toward the draft, here are four cornerbacks the Detroit Lions could ideally replace Cameron Sutton with.

Ryan Kang/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

4. Khyree Jackson, Oregon

Jackson had outstanding size (6-foot-4, 194 pounds) and traits (4.5 40 and 11-foot-1-inch broad jump at the NFL Combine) to get the attention of NFL teams.

What Jackson is acking is experience, with just 14 starts on his college resume. He started his college career at Fort Scott Community College, then he went on to East Mississippi Community College ( "Last Chance U"), where the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. After that came two years at Alabama where he hardly played.

He ended up at Oregon last season, where he played and played well. He had three interceptions and seven pass breakups, with 77.4 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus (19 catches allowed on 38 targets), a 41.6 passer rating allowed and two sacks.

The knocks on Jackson in scouting reports are rooted in a sheer lack of playing experience (anticipation, allowing too much cushion). But when he got the opportunity, finally, he showed he can play. Brad Holmes and new defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend have said tackling is a mandatory skill for a Lions' cornerback, and Jackson fits that bill (two missed tackles last year, 82.2 run defense grade from Pro Football Focus).

Lions fans who were frustrated by Sutton rarely being around the ball to make impactful plays last season (so all of them) should like Jackson.

3. Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri

As Missouri cornerbacks go, Ennis Rakestraw has been easy to tab as a great fit for the Lions. But there's just as strong a case for Abrams-Draine, who missed just 12 tackles during his entire college career (according to Pro Football Focus). He played both in the slot and outside, and in man and zone coverage.

Abrams-Draine started his career at Missouri as a wide receiver, before moving to cornerback and becoming a started for his last three seasons. Over his final two seasons, he had 27 pass breakups and 98 total tackles. Opponents wanting to avoid Rakestraw went the other direction, but Abrams-Draine was up to the task, earning First Team All-SEC honors last season (51 tackles, four interceptions, 13 pass breakups.

There's a real chance Abrams-Draine becomes a better NFL player than Rakestraw, with less draft capital investment. Russell Brown of Lions Wire hit the right idea when suggesting Abrams-Draine could be a special teamer early in his career but quickly develop into a solid No. 2 corner.