Detroit Lions Continue To Improve Secondary To Re-Sign Will Harris, Add Emmanuel Mosley

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2023 could be a completely revamped Detroit Lions secondary.

One day after making cornerback Cam Sutton to the Pittsburgh Steelers their top addition in free agencyThe Lions agreed to a one-year contract with Will Harris and the San Francisco 49ers free agent Emmanuel Mosley.

Harris, who was selected in the third round out of Boston College in 2019, has split his time between cornerback and safety over the past four seasons, but has played his best football since taking over as the Lions’ starting slot cornerback last year. .

Harris, who moves to cornerback at the end of the 2021 season, has 57 tackles in 10 starts in 2022. He entered training camp competing for the starting job at outside cornerback, spending most of his time on special teams early in the season and replacing Mike Hughes. In nickel packages in the second half of the year.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) runs with the football against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Mosley.

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The Lions ranked last in the NFL in total defense and 30th against the pass last season, but opposing quarterbacks in their final 10 games posted an 83.4 passer rating.

Nevertheless, Lions general manager Brad Holmes entered the off-season intending to upgrade the secondary and focus his resources on the cornerback position at the start of the free agent negotiation period.

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Sutton, widely regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in free agency, had a career-high three interceptions last season and led opposing quarterbacks to a 47.9% completion percentage, According to Pro Football Reference.

Moseley missed 12 games last season with a torn ACL in his left knee, but has been at least a part-time starter in the 49ers’ secondary since 2019.

He had an interception that he returned for a touchdown and had 22 tackles in five games last year.

Lions safety Will Harris reacts after recovering from a fumble during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Lions safety Will Harris reacts after recovering from a fumble during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Once healthy, Moseley should compete in front of Sutton for the starting outside cornerback spot.

The Lions return Jerry Jacobs and Jeff Okudah as their top outside corners, although Okudah, the No. 3 overall pick in 2020, lost his starting job late last year. Lions have until early May to decide Fifth year option on Okudah’s rookie contract.

“He has to improve,” Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said of Okudah at the NFL combine earlier this month. “I would say that, with everybody in our defense. And he knows it, and he’s improved. But there’s always peaks and valleys when you play in that position. You try to stay on top as much as you can.” We do.” you can do it. But it’s hard. This is difficult. But I tell you what, he’s busting his butt. He’s trying his butt off to be on top of the peak all the time.”

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Contact Dave Birkett at [email protected], follow him on twitter @davebirkett.

This article was originally published on the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions Keeps Emmanuel Mosley In The Secondary, Re-Signs Will Harris