The Detroit Lions need help at cornerback, and general manager Bob Quinn addressed that when he took Florida’s Teez Tabor in the second round.
Now head coach Jim Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin must figure out how fast Tabor will be able to boost Detroit’s secondary.
There are obvious positives on the former Gator’s side. At 6 feet and 200 pounds, he’s the physical prototype of a modern cornerback. He also has great quickness, allowing him to shadow receivers, and the patience to wait for them to commit to a break before following them.
That quickness also allows him to jump routes. He intercepted nine passes in his college career and broke up 28 in his final two seasons. In all of those ways, he’s exactly the type of player that the Lions need to line up across from their top corner, Darius Slay.
However, there is one massive question mark hanging over his NFL career – his straight-line speed. Tabor ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine, and it simply confirmed something that scouts had already seen – he struggles against high-level speed. Even in college, he gave speedy receivers a deep cushion and was forced to grab them instead of being able to turn and run with them.
That was a problem in college, but it will be a much bigger issue in the NFL. Instead of seeing one or two receivers that can run 4.4, he’ll face them every week with offensive coordinators doing everything in their power to set up one-on-one matchups.
The Lions have coaches and training staff who are already working with Tabor on…
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