Draft prospect seen as great fit for the Lions draws Darius Slay comparison

Ennis Rakestraw is being tabbed as a great draft fit for the Detroit Lions, drawing a Darius Slay comparison from an analyst.
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Ever since Matt Patricia drove Darius Slay out of town in March of 2020, and that is not overstating it, the Detroit Lions have being trying to find a legit No. 1 cornerback. Jeff Okudah did not work out after being taking third overall in that same year's draft, and Cameron Sutton is ill-suited to covering the opponent's top wide receiver.

Cornerbacks stands as the Lions' No. 1 need this offseason, with ample options in free agency (or a trade?) and the draft. The draft class is deep at the position, so someone good may fall right into their laps at No. 29 overall. Or maybe Brad Holmes considers a trade up to get a cornerback he particularly comes to covet.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah did a conference call with media this week, after the release of his second 2024 mock draft. With Lions' media a strong presence in the call, Jeremiah was asked about players who are fits for the team.

ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller also did a conference call this week, and the common thread with he and Jeremiah was to deem Missouri cornerback Ennis Rakestraw as the type of player who fits the Lions.

Ennis Rakestraw draws comparison to Darius Slay

Jeremiah identified Rakestraw as someone he can see the Lions trading up for.

Jeremiah is all-in on the idea of Rakestraw as a great fit for the Lions.

"In terms of the feistiness and toughness and aggressiveness that he plays with, the energy and passion that he plays with, yeah, he fits 100 percent with Detroit," said Jeremiah.

"Has some Slay to him," Jeremiah said Thursday. "Built similarly to Slay, really, really tough, feisty, can press you, plays with a ton of energy, which I love ... Just a passionate, energetic dude. But real fluid, real fast, real tough."

Rakestraw's raw stats were not great at Missouri last season, though he also played through a core muscle injury that required surgery. But he was also targeted just 28 times all season, according to Pro Football Focus. He is built similarly (6-foot, 188 pounds) to Slay (6-foot, 192 pounds when he was drafted in 2014)

Asking a rookie to take on the premium assignment of the opponent's top wide receiver right away might be a tad aggressive. But maybe Rakestraw can be the long term Slay replacement the Lions have been seeking for too long.

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