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This is another pick that looks better in hindsight.
While I was disappointed that the Lions did not add an offensive lineman at the time with their second pick, when they got Larry Warford in the third round, it made the Darius Slay selection much better.
Slay is a phenomenal athlete with limited playing time in an FBS college. However, he was in the SEC, so while not extensively battle-tested, he was in the hottest crucible at the college level.
He has great ball skill, which is a perfect skill set for the scheme that the Lions run. They play a lot of press coverage on the outsides and the majority of snaps in full zone coverage, making Slay's length, quickness, recovery speed and ball skills ideal.
Slay also has the quickness and fluidity to become a very good man-to-man cornerback, and with the trend of big wide receivers becoming a big part of all offenses in the NFL, a tall corner will become essential for shutdown defenses.
The top of the second round was exactly where Slay should have gone, according to most pre-draft grades. However, due to the Lions' big-time need at cornerback, this is a pretty good value pick.
Slay may be a day one starter, but due to his limited experience like Ezekial Ansah, he shouldn't. He needs to develop better fundamentals and gain experience before he has the skills to be a quality NFL starter. However, since he will be competing with Bill Bentley and Jacob Lacey for the second cornerback position, it would not surprise me if he beats them out in training camp.
2012 Statistical Prediction: 35 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes defended