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Cornerback has been the toughest group to predict all offseason. Consider that a function of the lack of distinguished talent at the position.
Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay will start on the outside. Mathis is the grizzled veteran and ringleader of the group, coming off an underrated first year in Detroit. Slay, the team's second-round pick in 2013, is being counted on to make a big jump from an uneven rookie season.
Third-year player Bill Bentley will be the primary slot corner, which is no longer a starting position after the Lions switched from a base 4-2-5 to a more traditional 4-3 defense. He's struggled all preseason with NFL officiating's newfound emphasis on illegal contact.
Cassius Vaughn, a free agent from Indianapolis, has emerged as the third outside corner. His time playing under Caldwell with the Colts is an asset, as is his physicality at the line.
Those four are safely in the den. After that, there are serious questions.
Fourth-rounder Nevin Lawson is very likely to make the cut. Like Bentley, he's best in the slot. Also like Bentley, he's had major issues with illegal contact and holding penalties. The Utah State product has been strong on special teams.
Chris Greenwood is fighting for his Lions life. His considerable physical potential has yet to consistently translate to the field. He allowed an ugly touchdown to Jacksonville. Considering an interception in that same game couldn't save fellow 2012 draft classmate Jonte Green, it's hard to see Greenwood surviving.
Undrafted rookie Mohammed Seisay has shown enough potential to earn a practice squad spot. That's an impressive rise for a player who didn't even start at Nebraska last year.
Expect the Lions to actively pursue outside help at cornerback, hitting the waiver wire for at least one new face.
Final Spots: Mathis, Bentley, Slay, Vaughn, Lawson, Player TBD not currently on roster (six)