I'll say it once, I (and others) will say it 1,000 times. Under only the most dire of circumstances this season should Will Harris being playing significant snaps in the Detroit Lions' secondary. And it has been pretty dire, with Brian Branch missing Week 5 and Week 6, Emmanuel Moseley tearing his other ACL two plays into his Lions' debut in Week 5, and Jerry Jacobs missing Week 7 with a knee injury that popped up late in the week.
Oh, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson is out for the season.
Over those three games, Harris' defensive snap shares have been 96, 70 and 83 percent. Way too much playing time, but there just hasn't been other viable options. The Lions' coaching staff also loves Harris, while conveniently ignoring the fact he's a liability in coverage that opposing teams love to target.
Cornerback/secondary depth is a concern for the Lions as next Tuesday's trade deadline nears, and you can bet general manager Brad Holmes is making some effort to try to do something about it. There are options out there.
Versatile defensive back offered as trade fit for the Detroit Lions
On his list of 10 player-team trade fits he'd like to see, Kevin Patra of NFL.com offered a match for the Lions-Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon.
"If the Colts are looking to find a way to get 2022 third-round pick Nick Cross on the field more, they could make it easier by shipping out Blackmon, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Lions' secondary is banged up and could use aid. Blackmon is the type of versatile defender who could help Detroit cover its injury woes. The former third-round pick spent his first three seasons as a free safety before moving to strong safety this season. Blackmon also has played 103 snaps at slot corner for Indianapolis this season and has a 62.3 passer rating against, 12th-best among safeties, per PFF."
Blackmon offers versatility, like Patra cited, playing a good bit of slot corner so far this year. Injuries have been a little bit of thing previously, including 11 missed games in 2021. But through seven games this season he already has as many total tackles (50) as he had in 14 games last season, with more pass breakups and more interceptions than he had last year.
The Lions need help at outside corner more than slot corner or safety. So Blackmon doesn't look like a great fit within that idea, since he's similar to Branch in terms of his position utility. But in a broader sense the secondary needs some help. Blackmon may be very available, and he's someone with similar versatility to the injured Gardner-Johnson. So there is a possible fit here for the Lions, as Holmes surveys what might be out there.