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Lions take speedy cornerback Darius Slay in second round
6:59 PM, Apr 26, 2013
8:09 PM, Apr 26, 2013
(WXYZ) - The Lions continue to build their defense at the NFL Draft.
With their second round pick, Detroit selected speedy Mississippi State cornerback Darius Slay.
The fastest cornerback at the NFL Combine this winter, Slay is 6'0, 192 lbs. He is recovering from a meniscus injury, but the Lions were comfortable enough with his health to make him their second selection.
"We've been looking for that big corner," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "He has that kind of stuff."
Mayhew said the team had graded Slay as a first rounder. The team received calls from teams trying to trade up in the second round, but after watching Slay and visiting with him, they stood pat.
"They told me if I was there in the second round, they'd take me," Slay said on a conference call moments after his selection.
The Lions secondary was plagued by injuries last season, leaving them without much depth for the latter part of the season.
"You've seen what's happened to us in the secondary. You can never have enough corners," head coach Jim Schwartz said.
"He's a guy we think is gonna be a good corner."
Slay also said he talked about potentially returning kicks for Detroit during his visit with the team. He told reporters he was the top junior college return man, and wasn't sure why he was kept off Mississippi State's return plans last season.
The Lions used the fifth overall selection to pick BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah, and the 36th overall selection to select Slay. The focus on defense follows last year's selections of tackle Riley Reiff in the first round and wide receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round.
Mayhew said the Lions wanted to get bigger and faster on defense this offseason, and said the team's first two selections have helped accomplish that goal.