Jamel Dean?

Anyone got any strong opinions on this guy? He has been a guy who has seriously intrigued me for awhile now. He is a bit under the radar simply because he has had Carlton Davis ahead of him for his entire career. He has started games every year he has been in the league. He has missed 7 games in four seasons so he has been pretty durable. He has great size at 6’1" 206 pounds and his RAS was a 9.93 coming out.

PFF has never graded him below a 76.7 coverage grade in any year of his career so his worst year would still have him ranked 15th in coverage grade this season. He currently has the 5th best coverage grade out of all CB’s. Per PFF, his run defense was very average most of his career, but he has made a major jump this season.

According to the below article from PFF that was written before this season, he has given up the fewest yards per coverage snap in press coverage of any CB in the NFL since 2020.

No NFL cornerback has allowed fewer yards per coverage snap in press coverage since 2020 than Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean, often the forgotten man in a unit also containing Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting. Dean has allowed just over one-third of targets into his coverage to be caught for only 0.34 yards per press coverage snap across that span.

So he can play press man defense at a high level, has the body type we look for in an outside CB, has elite RAS scores which Holmes seems to value pretty highly, and is reportedly a fantastic person and a man of character. On top of that he is only 26 and could theoretically continue an elite level of play through a 5 year contract.

> “I just thought wow, this guy, he’s the total package. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s smart, he’s got everything that you want. He’s a great person, both on and off the field. He’s a joy to be around.”

Dean’s head coach, Gus Malzahn, was just as complimentary of him:

> “When he’s healthy, he’s as good as it gets, I think. But he’s been resilient, battled through adversity. When you do that it just makes you stronger. He’s got great character, he’s an excellent person. I think his best football is ahead of him.”

To me this kid checks every box that this staff would have and fills a massive need on this team. If you told me I had to choose between Dean or Payne in FA, I’d go with Dean, IMO. I also think he won’t cost as much as you would think because he has been in Carlton Davis’ shadow his entire career. Considering Carlton Davis resigned with the Bucs last off-season for under 15mil AAV, I would think Dean doesn’t top that. I’d give him a 5 year 70mil deal with 35mil in guarantees.

Just curious if anyone else knows a little more about him or has a different opinion.

I was high on him coming out but even then he went before I thought he would. He’s been really solid as a pro and would definitely be a good add to the room here.

I am honestly starting to really want to go and get Lavonte David as well. I understand he will be 33 by the time next season rolls around, but his play hasn’t fallen off at all yet. He has been remarkable durable throughout his career, has played at a consistently elite level, is one of the best cover backers in the game, and is a terrific leader.

Anzalone is actually starting to play better and is definitely ourperforming his contract. Even so, if Anzalone is back in a starting role in 2023, that is a failure on Brad Holmes. David could be the leader this defense needs and could help propel this unit into the top half of the league (or better). He signed a 2 year 25mil deal two years ago. With him being a couple years older I would imagine his price tag may have dropped some. I’d give him 2 years 20mil to come here.

If we could come out of free agency with David and lets say Jamel Dean, or James Bradberry, I would be thrilled. Then draft Jalen Carter, Bijan Robinson, and Brian Branch (or best nickelback available). That would be an immense talent infusion on defense to what we already have.

IMO the Lions do not have a need or a hole for another CB, so I would be a hard pass.

Really? To me that is probably the weakest position on the team and I am one of the biggest Okudah fans on here. Jacobs may turn out to be a solid starter, but their is no other outside CB depth behind him. We should be pushing to find a starting caliber outside CB this off-season. In the nickel, Will Harris has been average at times and bad at others. He would not be a bad re-sign for depth, but I think it would be a mistake to count on him as the starting nickel. Chase Lucas has some potential there, but once again he should not be counted on. The only other CB on this roster who we may bring back on the cheap is Hughes. Hughes did not play well to start the year and was benched. Now he plays a part time role and has done better in recent weeks.

To me, even if we re-sign Harris AND Hughes, we would still need a starting caliber outside CB and nickel.

I’d rank our defensive needs as

Elite DT
Starting Caliber Outside CB
Starting MLB
Edge Rusher

The safety need is at the bottom assuming we re-sign Elliot. If we don’t I think it jumps up the priority list a little.

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Hopefully, Walker can make a full return, and make it even less of a priority.

I would say it is going to be a stretch for him to be ready on opening day in 2023 so I think we need to at least have a viable backup plan. Ellior would make for great insurance, but if he isn’t back I think they need to get a reliable veteran at least like a Tashuan Gipson.

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Since Jacobs has returned to the field for the Lions, the Defense has been a top 3 passing Defense. I would say that is at least already a solid starter. Put him and Okudah on the outsides and as long as they are healthy the positions are filled. Now if you want to get some depth for the CB position, I can agree with that, but if you are looking to replace the current starters then that is where we would have to agree to disagree.

Will Harris, IMO, has played lights out from the NB position, both last year and this year. While I do not want him on the outside, he has looked really good to me on the inside. Now add in that the Lions have talked about replacing the NB with a 3rd safety, which IMO is the biggest need if they do not resign Elliot.

With that said I am all for drafting, and only drafting a CB to add depth to the position, but I do see the need to look for one too early in the draft or a need to get one in FA.

IMO and currently I would rank the Lions defensive needs as

DT (Carter is my guy and would love to have him) (McNeil is really the only penetrating DT the Lions have, while Buggs and Jones have looked decent at the line holders though an upgrade might be available)
Starting OLB (Right now the Lions only have Barnes and Rodrigo who play OLB well, with Rodrigo getting more time at the MLB and probable moving to it full time next year the Lions need someone who can play OLB to take his spot.)
SS if Elliot is not resigned
then depth at
CB (IMO the Lions have starters and need to upgrade the depth)
SS (Regardless of Elliot, the Lions need his backup)
DE (With Hutch, COminsky, Pascal the Lions have maybe 1 or 2 spots that they could look to upgrade on determined by Romeo O’s return)

The problem with that is Walker plays FS and sucks at SS. Elliot is a SS and Jospeh is a FS. So if the Lions do not resign Elliot there is no one that could fill the position and they would have to get another SS in either FA or the draft.

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Where did you see that? They have certainly been better, but top 3 doesn’t seem right to me.

Even if that is true and we have faith in Okudah and Jacobs, both are returning from serious injuries in 2021. It would be a major mistake to hope they both stay healthy in 2023 without some high quality depth behind them.

I would strongly disagree with your Will Harris take. He was quite possibly the worst starting S in the NFL for his first three seasons. THen he got switched to CB late last year and started to show some promise. He has played okay at time this year, and even pretty good at others. At best he is an average nickelback. To be we still need a serious upgrade there.

I think this is really optimistic. I love what I’ve seen from them lately and it’s possible we could have our two starters, but I think saying it with certainty could come back to bite us. Plus there’s the old adage you can never have enough corners, which I agree with wholeheartedly. Plus this is such a good draft for corners it would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage.