In the sixth round, the Detroit Lions surprised many by selecting another corner. They took Texas corner Quandre Diggs. Diggs, who is only 5’9″ seemed like an odd choice for the Lions. He is too small to play outside so he is almost limited to the nickel role. Detroit currently has two nickel corners that they drafted in Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson. They also recently signed corner Josh Wilson who was terrible as an outside corner, but very good as a nickel corner. So that begs the question, why draft Diggs? There are two answers for this question. The first is related to the Lions. Last season, both Bentley and Lawson went down with an injury. That forced the team to replace their nickel corner with a committee of players.
The second reason is a bit more lengthy. Quandre Diggs is a four year starter at Texas. He played both outside corner and nickel corner. He is a physical tackler who needs to improve in his consistency. He increased his ball skills every year, contributing to a drop in yards per catch allowed. He has great instincts and is very intelligent. He is also the brother of Quentin Jammer, so he has a football pedigree. In college he rarely, if ever, left the field showing his reliability and importance. He does not have an injury history either.
Diggs has some pretty heavy knocks on him though that caused him to be a low round pick. He is very short for a corner being only 5’9. He is also slow. Shorter corners are usually very fast, causing them to be good as nickel backs. Diggs through ran a 4.56 forty yard dash and his on-field speed looks to be just as slow. Because of his speed issues, he turns his hips too quickly in coverage. His size also limits him when trying to get off blocks. He tends to struggle getting off blocks to make a play.
While Diggs is short and slow and not ideal for a corner in the NFL, he is battle tested given his 4 years of experience and playing in the Big12 conference means that he has faced NFL caliber receivers. While he will never be an outside corner with the Lions, he could be a valuable nickel player for them in the coming years given his experience.