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Ex-Lion Darius Slay ranked No. 4 cornerback in NFL by ESPN

The Detroit News

The Lions don’t have one of ESPN’s top 10 cornerbacks for the 2020 NFL season, but there is a familiar name on the list: Darius Slay.

The former Lion and current Eagle checked in at No. 4 in ESPN’s latest series of rankings on Thursday, which are based on a survey from 50 NFL executives, coaches, scouts and players.

Darius Slay

Slay, 29, was ranked anywhere from No. 2 to No. 12 by the pollsters.

"Slay is a guy you'll go into Sunday with all day," an unnamed NFL coordinator said. "He'll play man coverage all day — he'll battle, not afraid to get in spaces, match up with anyone, and he can run."

Slay is a three-time Pro Bowler and earned All-Pro first-team honors in 2017 when he recorded 60 tackles, 26 passes defensed and eight interceptions. During his seven seasons in Detroit, he tallied 104 passes defensed and 19 interceptions in 103 games.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted Slay has allowed the league’s third-lowest completion percentage as the nearest defender — 51.8% — over the past three seasons.  

"He's got natural ball skills and awareness in the open field, which will help him age well," an unnamed NFC defensive assistant coach said.

Slay signed a three-year, $50 million extension with Philadelphia after he was traded in March for a third- and fifth-round draft pick, which the Lions used on Ohio State guard Jonah Jackson and Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus.

New England’s Stephen Gilmore, Los Angeles’ Jalen Ramsey and Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White took the top three spots on ESPN’s list.