Detroit Lions should avoid this cornerback prospect at all costs after 2024 NFL Combine

The Detroit Lions seem likely to take a cornerback in the first round of April's draft, but there's one they should avoid at all costs now.

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The Detroit Lions need help at cornerback. That's a brief way to convey what is probably their No. 1 need, and failure to address it properly (however it's addressed) stands to legitimately keep them from reaching a Super Bowl.

Fortunately, it's a deep draft class at cornerback this year. The Lions can stand pat at pick No. 29 overall in the first round and get a good player who can step into a prominent role right away. On Tuesday at the NFL Combine, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, general manager Brad Holmes talked about the challenge of finding cornerbacks in the draft.

"Obviously, you can't have enough corners. It's a very hard position to play. It requires so much physical qualities, but intangible qualities to be successful at that position. You might have to be a little more selective in acquiring them. When you find a good one, they're hard to find. They're not growing on trees."

Holmes added how much he loves to watch cornerback drills, so he was surely in heaven on Friday afternoon. Then he got down to an important punch line.

"It's confidence, it's wiring," Holmes said. "Those guys, I know the money-maker is ball production, and that's first and foremost, but you've got to tackle, too. The more and more you see, when your corners are tackling, that can really define who you are on defense."

Detroit Lions should avoid a certain CB prospect at all costs after the NFL Combine

The on-field work for draft-eligible cornerbacks started with the 40-yard dash. That being what is in terms of proof of football ability, a faster time is certainly better than a notably slow one. Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins ran a blazing 4.28 (official) 40, leading the position group.

On that run, Wiggins was injured. It doesn't appear to be as bad as it initially seemed, but he suffered a hip flexor injury and was done for the day.

The cornerbacks also got measured and weighed on Friday. Wiggins came in at 6-foot-1 and 3/8 inches, with arm length (30 and 4/8-inches), hand size (nine inches) and wingspan (74 and 2/8 inches) that are fine. But he also weighed in at just 173 pounds.

Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire captured the sentiment perfectly.

As long as his injury isn't especially serious, and he did appear to avoid a worst-case scenario, Wiggins should still be a first-round pick. There's no denying his ball skills, or his confidence when he spoke to reporters on Thursday when he called himself "the best corner in the draft" and "a lockdown corner".

Pro Football Focus thinks very highly of Wiggins, but a weak point they pointed out is not a fit for the Lions.

"Wiggins has legit ball skills and shutdown athletic abilities. He needs to be more consistent in run defense and with the overall strength parts of his game, but he might be at the top of the list of corners you'd want to tell, “Go make sure that receiver doesn't catch the ball."

Wiggins is notably slight in build. Being a good NFL cornerback requires more than just being able to cover though, and due sheerly to lacking heft in his body Wiggins is not a complete package. Holmes placing value on tackling for cornerbacks the way he has also stands to be a knock to Wiggins.

The depth of options at cornerback is good fortune for the Lions in the 2024 draft. After he weighed so light and then hurting himself while running his 40, Wiggins should be falling down the Lions' draft board as we speak.

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