Diggs likely will return to nickel CB role for Lions

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions' Quandre Diggs

Indianapolis — Patriots scouts regularly focus on finding the best role for a player, and new Lions general manager Bob Quinn has already determined what that is for cornerback Quandre Diggs.

A sixth-round pick in 2015, Diggs was the Lions’ primary nickel cornerback in the second half of the season after Josh Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 9. And Quinn plans to keep Diggs in the slot moving forward.

“Quandre had a good season last year for the Lions,” Quinn said. “I have fully evaluated him, and I think he’s a good player, primarily as an inside corner. That’s the best thing that he does, and that’s a very important position.”

Diggs impressed immediately in Detroit, working with the first-team defense in the late spring practices. Diggs’ transition went so smoothly that the coaches had him substituting for Wilson at times in the first half of the season, too.

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With Wilson a free agent and Diggs playing well in his place last year, Diggs will likely be the nickel cornerback again in 2016, and if he can improve in Year 2 after showing an ability to hit hard, cover and diagnose plays, the defense would benefit.

“We’re going to be in sub or nickel defense 70 to 75 percent of the time, so you really need three corners on the field at all times,” Quinn said.