Lions grab versatile DB in Lance Zierlein’s latest NFL mock draft

The Detroit Lions have a few question marks in their secondary ahead of the 2024 NFL campaign, but thankfully there is still time to address the need in free agency and the upcoming draft.

In his latest mock draft, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has the Lions taking a versatile defensive back in Iowa’s Cooper DeJean at No. 29 overall.

Here’s what Zierlein said about the pick:

DeJean is a unique addition for the Lions, possessing the size, speed and toughness to compete for a starting spot as either a cornerback or a safety.

Taking it a step further with DeJean’s versatility, he has the ability to line up in the slot, which gives the Lions three ways to deploy him, assuming he’s good enough to have a significant role.

Detroit doesn’t have a sure starter opposite Carlton Davis, though there are a few candidates. Emmanuel Moseley is coming back from a second torn ACL, this time in his other knee, and free-agent addition Amik Robertson is another option.

While not terrible, neither inspires a ton of confidence and that could lead to DeJean getting a look there if Detroit lands him.

Detroit is projected to start Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu at safety, but the latter doesn’t have much starting experience and has had some injury issues the past few years.

DeJean could factor in there, but he could also fill the slot role if Detroit feels they are better off with Brian Branch back deep. Ideally, Branch stays in the slot, though, after he had success there in his rookie campaign.

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