Detroit Lions select CB Chase Lucas in seventh round of NFL Draft

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Allen Park — When Chase Lucas saw a Detroit, Michigan area code pop up on his phone Saturday, he thought the Lions were calling about possibly joining the team as an undrafted free agent.

Instead, the Arizona State cornerback received some better news.

The Lions wrapped up their NFL Draft haul by using the seventh-round pick they acquired in a same-day trade with the Philadelphia Eagles on Lucas, at No. 238 overall.

Chase Lucas

"Man, it was a rough three hours today,” Lucas said in a post-draft Zoom call. “It was very hard to be patient and trust the process and trust what God has in front of me. Honestly, I was getting a whole bunch of calls about priority free agency, so my phone was going off. I didn't know what pick it was.

“I ended up getting that beautiful news that I've always wanted to hear. I've waited 25 years for it. I'm very pumped. I'm very excited, but I'm also ready to work. I know they're going to get a good corner, a good nickel, a good safety, whatever they need out of me."

A five-year starter with the Sun Devils, Lucas had a career trajectory that didn’t follow an uptrend after his promising first couple of seasons. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 and freshman All-America honors in 2017. In 2018, he had a career year with 62 tackles, eight passes defended, six tackles for loss and three interceptions.

While Lucas was never able to top those numbers, he was still a solid starter over his final three seasons at Arizona State. He received second-team all-conference honors again in 2020 and didn’t allow a touchdown in coverage this past season.

Lucas spent the past two years playing at nickel, a role he said would be comfortable playing at the next level.

“The 2020 season, I was really getting introduced to it because one player went down and somebody had to move in and fill the spot,” said Lucas, who had 34 tackles and six pass breakups in 2021.

“I feel like my football IQ is a big thing, is a big reason why I was drafted. I do a lot studying, a lot of film work and that's going to translate to the nickel spot.”

Lucas has seemingly seen and experienced it all in his college career. He made 49 starts at Arizona State, which ranks second in program history, and was coached by a pair of former defensive-minded NFL coaches in Herm Edwards and Marvin Lewis.

Lucas said Edwards’ and Lewis’ tutelage “sharpened the edges” of his game and made him better as a player, from his technique to his fundamentals.

“Having them come in and try to critique the little things I was doing wrong, whether it was shoving with the wrong hand or moving with the wrong foot, I feel like that just progressed tenfold over the last three, four years,” Lucas said.

“I've been around pro guys; I've been around pro coaches. I feel like the competitive nature at the Detroit Lions is going to fit my type of style, how I am, how I play. My experience alone probably got me drafted, so I'm just excited and thankful for this opportunity.”

Meet Chase Lucas

Position: Cornerback

College: Arizona State

Height/weight: 5-foot-11/180 pounds

Round/overall: 7/238

Notable stats: He had 216 total tackles, 28 passes defensed and six interceptions in five seasons. While he hasn’t recorded an interception since 2019, he was one of four corners who played at least 250 snaps and didn’t allow a TD in 2021.

Analysis: Lucas is a smaller corner who lined up on the outside and over the slot and logged an enormous number of snaps during his time at Arizona State. While he has his share of discipline lapses, his inside-outside versatility helps and he’ll provide depth in the secondary and on special teams.

jhawkins@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jamesbhawkins