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Lions start bulking up on CBs

3/9/2010

We've detailed Detroit's effort to revamp its defensive line. Monday, they ramped up their efforts to rebuild their cornerback position.

In addition to signing free agent Jonathan Wade, the Lions acquired Chris Houston from Atlanta in a trade we touched on Sunday evening. The Lions gave up a sixth-round pick for Houston and will swap fifth-round picks with the Falcons as well.

At this early date, I would consider Houston a likely starter while Wade would be in the mix for the nickel and dime positions. That still leaves at least one starting position left to fill after the release of Philip Buchanon last week. Two other cornerbacks from last season, Will James and Anthony Henry, are free agents.

Houston ultimately was expendable because the Falcons signed Dunta Robinson to replace him. FOB (Friend of the Blog) Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, who tracks the career arcs of NFL players, suggested Monday night that the Lions got a steal:

Let's see... Detroit's secondary has been Edsel-riffic for two years now. Chris Houston was a second-round pick just three years ago. Highly-drafted cornerbacks often take three or even four years to develop. Rashean Mathis and Corey Webster broke out in season four; Nnamdi Asomugha never intercepted a pass until season four. And to take a gamble on Houston's talent finally emerging, all the Lions have to do is give up a sixth-round pick and switch places with Atlanta in the fifth round? Uh, yeah, that works.