With the addition of seven-year veteran R.W. McQuarters to the roster, the Lions will go to training camp next month assured of stiff competition at the cornerback position.
The roster will include 10 cornerbacks. Five of them have started at one time or another in the NFL and another three are young players the Lions feel can develop into capable players.
At the top of the list are two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly, McQuarters and Fernando Bryant, who was signed by the Lions as an unrestricted free agent a year ago but missed much of the 2004 season with an ankle injury.
Next in line are Andre Goodman and Chris Cash, three year veterans drafted in 2002 who have had limited success - in part because of injury problems.
Keith Smith, a third-round pick in the 2004 draft, made a good impression as a rookie and is almost certain to make the roster; Stanley Wilson, this year's third-round pick, has excellent speed and promising coverage ability; and Michael Echols, a third-year player plucked from Minnesota's practice squad late last season.
Jeff Sanchez, who played in NFL Europe this spring, and undrafted rookie Brandon Payne of New Mexico, have their work cut out for them just to get consideration for the practice squad.
The Lions also added veteran strong safety Kenoy Kennedy, an unrestricted free agent from Denver, to the secondary.
"This is the best our defensive backs have looked in a long time," said Lions president Matt Millen.
Lions Secondary Will Enter Camp Strong As Ever
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