Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Draft: Why 3rd Round Pick CB Dwight Bentley Was a Steal

Ben LorimerSenior Analyst IIApril 28, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17:  Dwight Bentley #5 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns is tackled after making a catch for a first down on a fake punt by Mahbu Keels #21 of the San Diego State Aztecs during the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 17, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

After turning heads by selecting wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round, the Lions came back and made a great pick by getting a cornerback early in the draft. In the end they got a third rounder who carried a second round grade with many teams, and who should be able to contribute as a nickel cornerback early in his career and fight to be a solid starter.

Bentley reminds me a lot of his high school teammate Janoris Jenkins. He has good speed, fluid hips and the burst to break on the ball when it is in the air. While undersized and just 5'10", he has the aggressive mentality to press and battle with larger wider receivers down the field, and to tackle ball carriers. He does lack the certain "it factor" that Jenkins has that made him a true shutdown guy in college, but Bentley has more than enough physical talent to contribute to the Detroit secondary.

Bentley does need to polish his footwork and general technique, and continue to play bigger than his size. He is also not the greatest leaper, which could give him problems when trying to cover big wide receivers like the Chicago Bears new tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. 

In all, this pick concluded a successful first two days of drafting for Detroit. They got their future left tackle, a slot receiver to be their Wes Welker, and a nickel cornerback to push and probably replace Aaron Berry down the line.

Pick Grade: A-

Day Two Grade: B