For pre-draft visits, the Detroit Lions reportedly connected to more defensive backs

For pre-draft visits, the Detroit Lions reportedly connected to more defensive backs ...

For their 30 pre-draft visits, the Detroit Lions are connected to more defensive players.

Detroit reportedly had visits with and met with Ja'Quan McMillian, an East Carolina cornerback, per ESPN. McMillian was a second-team All-American player last year, with five interceptions, four tackles for a loss, and one touchdown. It's worth noting that the Lions announced their signing of safety DeShon Elliott earlier Thursday. It's difficult to imagine the team feeling set at that position with the oft-injured safety getting a one-year deal.

Elliott has struggled to stay in charge of the NFL for four years. He missed his entire rookie season, then was limited to six games in Year 2. He started 16 games in 2020, but was limited to just six games last season. Elliott has shown flashes as an all-around strategy, with decent coverage chops that would pair well with Tracy Walker on the back of Detroit.

The soon-to-be-25-year-old fits the slew of a young player getting a shot around these parts. Safety has remained a popular mock pick for the Lions heading into the draft, which shouldn't be expected to change. Elliott represents an improvement against Walker. But he makes a lot of sense as a young player on a short-term deal to get a shot or bridge the gap while a rookie cuts their teeth.

Joseph is an intriguing prospect that has continued to see his name rise as the draft progresses. Pro Football Focus is now 65 years old and his ranking is fourth among the safeties. Joseph was also injured at the Senior Bowl on the roster coached by the New York Jets' coaching staff. Joseph measured 6-foot-1, 203 pounds, registered 18 bench-press reps and hit 38.5 inches on the vertical. The Athletic's Dane Brugler has Joseph eighth at his position, with a Round 3/4 grade.

Joseph had 57 tackles, one sack, and five interceptions last season. That was quite the jump for someone who played 19 games in three seasons without giving up on the pick. However, Walker is a rock-solid, reliable starter who won't leave many turnovers without putting a rangy safety on the field. Aaron Glenn's defense is being put on the back of the game.

On Thursday, a late-round prospect will travel to Detroit for a dinner. In 2021, he completed a career-high three passes across nine games. He was a three-year starter at Oklahoma, where he posted at least 50 tackles last season when allowed a 60.4 pass rating when targeted per PFF. He struggled more against the run but held his own in the pass-happy Big 12.

He will need to get better on special teams to help his long-term roster chances, says Turner-Yell.

Other players who have been linked to the Lions for recent pre-draft trips include Cincinnati cornerback, Notre Dame safety, Oregon pass rusher, Georgia defensive lineman, Missouri State defensive lineman, Oklahoma linebacker, LSU cornerback, and Georgia linebacker.

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