Teez Tabor Took Reps With The First Team Defense At OTAs: Will Have The Opportunity To Win A Starting Role.
The moment that the Detroit Lions selected cornerback Teez Tabor with the 53rd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft was a controversial one for fans. Tabor had posted exceptionally poor combine numbers leading to concerns about how he would translate to the position at the NFL level. His tape was impressive, but it did little to soothe the concerns about his athletic profile.
A post-combine viewing of Tabor’s tape revealed that he was asked to do very little that required long speed in college. That revelation only further complicated the situation of his combine numbers. That said, he did excel at what he was asked to do and, to be fair to him, that is the most that you can ask of a player.
Most fans were cautiously optimistic about the pick entering the 2017 NFL season. He was an exciting player in college, wtih a knack for making big plays. Unfortunately, Teez Tabor saw very little playing time over the course of the season, and fans were left wondering what the Lions had in their new cornerback.
Tabor showed well in limited opportunities, but didn’t show enough to prove to fans that he was worthy of his draft spot. His limited opportunities indicated to some fans that he may not be the player that the team had hoped. His lack of playing time only made the fanbase’s opinions on Tabor more divided.
Entering the offseason, many fans expected that we would see Teez Tabor take a step forward and win the starting job for the 2018 season. I found myself hoping for this same result, but recognizing that it is much easier to post my expectations on what I’ve seen rather than what I hope to see. I remained cautiously optimistic.
Entering the offseason, the primary roadblock to regular playing time was Nevin Lawson. The Lions added cornerback DeShawn Shead, and drafted Tracy Walker, a defensive back that could see time at safety or cornerback, but the incumbent, Nevin Lawson, still posted the most immediate threat to Tabor’s attempt to secure the number two cornerback role.
With OTAs wrapping up, one thing was very clear. The Lions are giving Teez Tabor every opportunity to win the number two cornerback job. Throughout OTAs, he was seeing reps with the first team and, as has been the case for most of Tabor’s career, he made the most of those opportunities. He intercepted Matthew Stafford twice over that time and, while he did give up a few big plays to Kenny Golladay, had a promising initial showing.
Evry NFL general manager has a few draft picks or roster moves that define their time with a team or the fans’ impression of his competency. Teez Tabor is one of those picks for Bob Quinn. The polarizing nature of the pick is either going to result in utter disappointment for the fan base or a rejuvinated sense of confidence in Bob Quinn’s ability to find talent that other teams may have glossed over.
Fans are certainly hoping for the latter, and if Teez Tabor continues his trend of excelling wherever he is given opportunities, they may be rewarded for their faith in Bob Quinn.