Reviewing the Detroit Lions' safeties


From now until the draft, we’re going to look at each Detroit Lions position group and where things stand as offseason workouts begin this month.

Today concludes the series at safety.

Starters: Glover Quin, James Ihedigbo

Backups: Isa Abdul-Quddus; Don Carey; Nate Ness

What the status of the position group is: For the most part, stable. Glover Quin is coming off a Pro Bowl season and is as confident as ever -- evidence coming in his belief the Lions will start the year 7-1. While it might not be realistic to expect Quin to lead the NFL in interceptions for the second year in a row, he is coming off one of his best seasons and should put together another good year.

James Ihedigbo is not at voluntary workouts -- the only Lions player to not show up -- as he tries to receive a new contract. Unlike some other players, there is little doubt Ihedigbo will show up in shape and ready to go whenever he arrives. He is coming off his second straight productive season and is entering the final year of his contract.

Isa Abdul-Quddus showed he could be a competent starting safety if the Lions needed him to be that and he’s a good third option to have. He played often in the team’s bigger nickel packages and is just entering the prime of his career. Don Carey is a dependable backup safety and potential nickel back who could is good to have in a pinch. Both Abdul-Quddus and Carey are also core special teams players.

What needs to happen: As long as Ihedigbo returns to the Lions in good shape, the Lions should be fine here for another year. Ihedigbo did struggle a bit toward the end of the season -- including a benching against Green Bay in the regular-season finale -- but he should have at least one more year left in him.

If not, the Lions have Abdul-Quddus who is ready to step in. Initially, it seemed unlikely Detroit would draft a safety, but the Lions brought in two safety candidates for pre-draft visits and had a third visitor, Eric Rowe, who could play either defensive back spot. So it would seem at least possible Detroit would draft a safety.

While it would potentially be a draft-and-groom situation, it is something to watch considering Ihedigbo’s desire for a new deal.

Draft priority: Medium to low. The Lions have bigger needs, but they could use a pick here if a safety presents himself.