Training Camp Battles: Defensive Backs

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today I'll take a look at the safeties and cornerbacks and try to make hay of how the position group might settle out. The defensive backs are probably the toughest group on the team to project out because not only is it unsettled, it is mostly composed of veteran castoffs and young players set adrift by other organizations. Detroit figures to go into the season with 8-9 dbs on the roster and right now it is hard to really argue more than about five guys have better than tenuous positions on the team.


Louis Delmas. I can't possibly write anything that hasn't been discussed exhaustively in the Den and elsewhere. scottallen222 started a thread that got extensive contributions Here. Chance of making roster: 100%

Kalvin Pearson. Earned some impressive copy out of the OTAs, Pearson is probably the favorite right now to win the second starting job. He's limited and probably shouldn't be a full-time player but for now he's the best Detroit has. Chance of making roster: 90%

Marquand Manuel. I expect him to compete hard for the starting spot opposite Delmas, and I also don't expect him to win it. He really isn't very good. He's got a lot of experience with a number of teams, none of which were too motivated to keep him. He was cut two years ago after the first year of a five year deal. Yeesh. Even so, I think he'll show enough that Schwartz will have a hard time cutting him. Chance of making roster: 80%

Daniel Bullocks. That Bullocks is the most experience returning safety is a testament to [something]. I don't think anyone outside of Allen Park has either a great feel for exactly how talented Bullocks is or how much potential remains. I expect we'll have a better idea after this summer. I expect Bullocks to make the roster as the fourth safety but it wouldn't be a huge upset to see him cut. Considering that Gerald Alexander was competing against Pearson, Manuel, and Bullocks it is a bit scary that he was expendable so quickly. Chance of making roster: 75%

Stuart Schweigert. Had a couple of really promising years for the Raiders before going over a cliff a couple of years ago, losing his starting gig and then getting cut twice in training camp last summer. He was signed by Detroit to replace LaMarcus Hicks so I guess he might have a better shot of making this year's team but I don't think his odds are good. Chance of making roster: 30%

LaMarcus Hicks. Still has some practice squad eligibility, and Detroit might stash him there until they need him. Chance of making roster: 20%

Tra Battle. It is tough to distinguish his chances from Schweigert's or Hicks'. Like Hicks, Battle still has practice squad eligibility so he may find a spot there. Chance of making roster: 20%


AtticusSpeaks provided an excellent treatment of the Lions' corners a few days ago. I could do the same but it would look very familiar to those who read Atticus'. Instead I'll just roll through the suspects with only a couple of comments.

Philip Buchanon. Starter. Chance of making roster: 100%

Anthony Henry. Starter by default. His presence might force Schwartz and Gunther to keep one more corner and one fewer safety. Chance of making roster: 100%

Eric King. Nickel. I sort of think he will be starting before the end of the year. Chance of making roster: 90%

Keith Smith. Dime, I guess. Chance of making roster: 60%

Ramzee Robinson. Mister Irrelevant. Chance of making roster: 30%

Chris Roberson. Practice squadder. Chance of making roster: 5%

As Atticus points out, the cornerbacks are a wasteland. A year ago Detroit arguably had better corners than they do today. While it is impossible for this year's group to be worse than the '08 flavor, it is just as easy to argue that they won't be much better, particularly as injuries expose their lack of depth.

Discuss this Here, in The Den