The biggest swing the Detroit Lions could take at cornerback is obvious

The Detroit Lions need a legit No. 1 cornerback, and the biggest swing they could take to get one is obvious.

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The Detroit Lions pass defense was not good last season, but it was particularly bad late in the season. Let's start in Week 16, and take a look at what the opposing quarterback did through the air in net yards.

  • Week 16, Nick Mullens: 411 yards
  • Week 17, Dak Prescott: 345 yards
  • Week 18, Mullens: 396 yards
  • Wild Card Round, Matthew Stafford: 367 yards
  • Divisional Round, Baker Mayfield: 349 yards
  • NFC Championship Game, Brock Purdy: 267 yards

It only took the now-departed Jerry Jacobs struggling and then being on IR to push the barely roster-worthy Kindle Vildor into a nearly every snap role, and Cameron Sutton was not capable to slowing down the opponent's best wide receiver. Emmanuel Moseley only playing two snaps last season before tearing his other ACL was not helpful, but the Lions' biggest offseason need became more and more clear.

And now, an opportunity is knocking to fix it. Sutton was a half-measure to add someone who seemed like he could project to be a No. 1 cornerback.

The Detroit Lions' biggest swing to add a cornerback is out there and obvious

The Kansas City Chiefs, as expected, placed the franchise tag on cornerback L'Jarius Sneed. It's also the non-exclusive version, which allows him to talk to other teams and the Chiefs can match any offer he gets. The idea of a tag and trade is out there too, and it's a scenario the Chiefs and Sneed are reported to both be open to.

Recent reports from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and USA TODAY's Tyler Dragon have mentioned the Lions as a prominent suitor for Sneed. As Dragon reported, there are plenty of other suitors.

If a team signs Sneed to an offer sheet and the Chiefs don't match, they'd get two first-round picks. A trade for Sneed, in the tag and trade scenario, would surely cost a second-round pick and possibly another later pick. Then, of course, the acquiring team would be giving him a contract in line with his market value.

On Wednesday afternoon, Woodward Sports went a step further in the discussion about Sneed.

Braylon Edwards and Tom Mazawey are on board with giving up the 29th overall pick in the draft if the Chiefs want it for Sneed, with Edwards noting how Sneed is a proven guy. Mazawey suggested Sneed and maybe a late-round pick for pick No. 29.

Ryan Ermanni has apparently leaned into the popular Lions' fan crutch of "we're hosting the draft, they won't trade their first round pick...", and he's more on-board with the idea of the Lions signing Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.

The Lions' No. 1 need is clear. The biggest swing they can make to address it this offseason is also clear. Nothing should be totally off the table if it means getting Sneed, right up to trading the 29th pick in April's draft.


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