6 cornerbacks Detroit Lions could target on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft

Recent history suggests the Lions will take a defensive back on Day 2 of the draft, and these six cornerbacks fit that idea.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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After the unfortunate situation around Cameron Sutton that led to his release, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes set aside the idea that cornerback took on any greater urgency as a need.

The run of cornerbacks coming to Allen Park for top-30 pre-draft visits contradicts that sentiment from Holmes.Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press ($) reported two more-Wake Forest's Caelen Carson and Auburn's Nehemiah Pritchett are making visits on Thursday. That makes a total of seven cornerbacks to make a top-30 visit to Detroit to this point, based on reports and/or social media activity.

As Birkett noted, the Lions have drafted four defensive backs during Holmes' tenure. Three of them-Ifeatu Melifonwu, Kerby Joseph and Brian Branch have been selected on Day 2. Pick No. 29 overall this year could yield a cornerback, perhaps a true outside corner for the first time since Jeff Okudah third overall in Bob Quinn's final draft as Lions' general manager (2020).

The idea of the Lions waiting to take a cornerback on Day 2 of the 2024 draft has merit, and it could very well come to fruition. With a nod to it being a very deep class at the position, here are some Day 2 cornerbacks who could be on their radar.

6 cornerbacks who could be on Detroit Lions' radar on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft

6. Caelen Carson, Wake Forest

Carson did not work out at the NFL Combine due to an injury, which makes his pre-draft visits (like the one with the Lions) take on more importance.

He was only a two-year starter at Wake Forest, and he only played eight games in the first of those (2022). But he is regarded as one of the more physical corners in this year's class, with ideal size (6-foot, 190 pounds) and 29 career pass breakups in college (three career interceptions; cue the jokes about "if he could catch, maybe he'd have been a wide receiver)". Last season he posted a 71.7 coverage grade and a 83.4 run defense grade from Pro Football Focus, with 36 receptions allowed on 64 targets in his direction.

Carson is considered somewhat raw, with the tools to develop the skills that match his traits. The Lions are getting a closer look at him before the draft, so

5. Andru Phillips, Kentucky

Phillips was another of the cornerbacks who made a top-30 visit to the Lions this week, as his personal itinerary has been pretty full.

Like Carson, Phillips was only a two-year starter in college. But he showed the versatility and physicality the Lions like in cornerbacks, seeing time outside and in the slot with 78 total tackles, 10 pass breakups (zero interceptions) over those two season. Last season he got a 71.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, with a 72.9 coverage grade.

At 5-foot-10, Phillips is likely better-suited to being a slot corner at the next level. But he should not necessarily be pigeonholed as that, with a physical style that should help him against bigger receivers on the perimeter.