Lions Get Immediate Starter In Louis Delmas

Despite the presence of USC's Rey Maualuga, the Lions shored up the safety position at 33 overall. Just what does Louis Delmas bring to the Lions secondary? We explain inside.

Entering Saturday's NFL draft, the Detroit Lions were aware of the glaring void at the safety position.

HEIGHT :: 5-11  WEIGHT::  197
2008 (WMU) Stats
Tackles 109
Interceptions 4
Touchdowns 1

Although it wasn't considered a desperate need, the Lions returned just Daniel Bullocks (SS) and a cloud of dust at the position. With Louis Delmas (FS), the team is acquiring a playmaking safety that can start immediately on defense.

Detroit's 4-3 defense will employ two safeties, each must cover their respective halves of the field, and have great ball awareness.

Last year, the Lions allowed an NFL record 404.4 passing yards per game, giving up 6.4 yards per pass attempt. To say they needed help would be a drastic understatement.

But Delmas provides another benefit: his hitting ability. Detroit's safeties will be asked to help with run support, making Delmas' nose for the ball and tackling ability essential.

Delmas, who started all but one game in his four-year career at WMU, is comfortable in his role in the deep secondary.

"In the defenses we ran, I was usually directed to cover, because my coaches felt that I was a playmaker," he told last month. "No matter where the ball went, I was in the play. I was maybe 20 percent in the box in any given game. We'd run halves, thirds, hard Cover-2, a man Cover-2, we'd run a lot of Fire Zone, and three-man deep."

According to NFL analyst Chris Steuber, who had Delmas as the second-best safety in the draft (many other analysts had him No. 1), "Delmas is an athletic playmaker that has great instincts.

"He has a sleek frame that could use more mass, but he delivers devastating hits that leave a mark. He has great awareness and an explosive burst to the ball. He flashes soft hands and turns defense into offense instantly.

"He’s fluid in his backpedal and flips his hips nicely in coverage. He has great quickness and good straight-line speed."

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