The Lions recently added cornerback Corn Elder to the mix, signing the free agent to a one-year contract.
Elder, who formerly played for the Carolina Panthers, was a fifth-round draft choice out of the University of Miami (Fla.) in 2017.
Detroit is hoping it is smarter than the rest of the NFL, picking up the tier-two free agent from what amounts to the leftovers pile in free agency.
Elder played for Carolina in all 16 games in 2020, after spending part of the 2019 season on the N.Y. Giants' practice squad.
Players like Elder are acquired because, in the eyes of management, they fit best what the team is trying to do. They bring certain characteristics that management wants.
Players like Elder are known as "role players," who are expected to fill a role during a rebuilding process, until being replaced or proving to be more of a long-term solution.
CB Corn Elder - 5-foot-10, 185 pounds (4.55 40-yard dash time recorded at the NFL combine)
2020 Grade: D (below average)
Corner who gives a strong effort, but receivers catch almost everything thrown in his direction. More of a zone corner who provides strong and sure-tackling support after the fact.
When matched up in man situations, he seems late in reacting. And, while he can stay somewhat close in coverage, he is just way too reactive to the receivers. Too tentative (against CHI in Week 6 and against TB in both Wk. 2 and Wk. 10). Seemed a bit slow reacting. Not a playmaker at all. Legitimately broke up one pass during the entire season.
Provides aggressive support, both after the reception and also in run support. Good defender in terms of a last line-of-defense type. A sure tackler. Will torpedo inward.
Questionable technique in coverage. Raw coverage technique. Did not look back for the ball -- instead played the receiver. The receivers dictated everything to him.
He is someone who can play the gunner position on the punt team. Average corner who is better at tackling than he is at coverage. Ideal for a team that plays a lot of zone. He will get a team beat in man.
When I watched Elder in the 44 plays he was featured in during the 2020 season, I walked away less than impressed.
I can not see him being part of the long-term solution in Detroit.
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