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Grading Lions' Trade for CB Carlton Davis

Carlton Davis should adequately perform No. 2 cornerback duties.
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Cornerback help is on its way to the Motor City in the form of Carlton Davis III.

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes acquired the veteran defensive back in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday. 

As part of the deal, the Lions will part with the second of their two third-round picks in this April’s draft (No. 92 overall) and also gain a pair of sixth-rounders (a sixth-round pick in 2024 and 2025).

Prior to being traded to the Lions, Davis, a 2018 second-round pick of Tampa Bay, spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Buccaneers. In 76 career games with the franchise, the 27-year-old secured a total of nine interceptions and 73 passes defensed. His best statistical season arguably came in 2020, when he recorded a career-best 68 total tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defensed.

For as solid of a career as Davis has had, he won’t be confused for a No. 1 cornerback anytime soon. He’s much better-suited to be an NFL team’s No. 2 corner, and certainly has the ability to thrive in that role.

Just last season, he showcased the knack for getting the job done in man coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed no touchdowns and just a 75.1 passer rating when targeted in man coverage in 2023.

Additionally, he’s recorded the second-most passes defensed in the NFL over the last five seasons (69).

This shouldn’t be the Lions’ only move to upgrade their cornerbacks room – and I don’t expect it to be, either.

I fully expect Holmes & Co. to still be in play for a top-flight corner in free agency, such as Dallas’ Stephon Gilmore.

As for Davis, even without No. 1 cornerback abilities, he still figures to be a valuable member of Detroit’s much-maligned secondary in 2024.

At this present moment, I’ll give the trade a “B+” grade for the Lions.