Detroit's Safety Situation: Healthy Bullocks Puts Less Weight on Draft?

Oliver SethContributor IApril 9, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Members of the Detroit Lions including Drew Henson #12, Andy McCollum #67, Aveion Cason #36 and Daniel Bullocks #27 wait in the tunnel to enter the field of play before a game against the Green Bay Packers on December 28, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions currently have six safeties on their roster.

Most notably, rookie safety Louis Delmas.

Also on their roster is Ko Simpson, Kalvin Pearson, Marvin White, Marquand Manuel, and Daniel Bullocks.

Daniel Bullocks is one to keep an eye on.

This former Cornhusker was selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, and has been a impact player when healthykeyword, "healthy."

While entering in as rookie for Detroit in 2006, Bullocks started in seven games and played in 15. Bullocks also led all NFC rookie defensive backs with 70 tackles (52 solo) while staying in the top five (fourth overall) according to

Then, his sophomore campaign was cut off short when he was placed on IR prior to the beginning of the regular season due to knee injuries.

After spending the offseason and training camp rehabbing his knee, Bullocks entered the year with a desire to come out and be the starting safety in Detroit

And that was to be forgotten in the 2008 Campaign when Bullocks started out slow and lost his starting job to Gerald Alexander. But when Alexander played poorly in the season opener, Bullocks took over the starting job.

Following the knee injury and return to the starting lineup, he came back to the Lions in his third year healthy, and was able to amass 121 tackles (74 solo). He was also named the Detroit Lions 2008 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which recognizes men of courage in the NFL. For obvious reasons, he was rewarded from returning from a serious knee injury that haunted his second year.

Then, Jim Schwartz came in and shared this information on Bullocks 2009 season campaign.

"We're going to shut him down for a little while, and then sort of take it slow again with an eye toward with getting him back on the field.''

That, in which he shared in a press interview Aug. 11, 2009.

Which of course, we should have guessed by now, the injury was to the same knee that cost him his 2007 campaign. And after several training camp practices, the knee issues wouldn't slow down or become better, so the Lions sent Bullocks to Dr. James Andrews, who performed the initial surgery in 2007.

Then, good news came for Bullocks following the 2009 season when Martin Mayhew hinted at his recovery and potential starting role again with the Lions. Saying:

“He’s rehabbing” and “He’s on the right track, from what I understand. In talking with our trainers, he’s coming along. He’s not 100 percent yet.” That, which came during the owners' meetings earlier in the year.

Then, he hinted at his starting role. “He was a starter for us prior to his injury, and if he can get back to what he was...” And with that, his tone of voice began to dissipate and added following that statement.

“Just wasn’t ready to give up on him yet.”

While, that doesn't mean Detroit will pass up on a safety in the draft, it does give fair signs that Delmas could already have a partner in crime with Bullocks, if healthy.

That is, if Bullocks can return healthy, having already missed half of his career due to injury. And if rehab is going the way Mayhew stated, it's just not time to throw away Bullocks and start a new in the safety position.

Bullocks deserves to come back and be healthy, and the Lions will certainly give him that chance. If they gain their starter back in the process, a round of applause is due.

The Detroit Lions have assigned an original pick tender to Daniel Bullocks.