A Look At Quandre Diggs‘ 2017 Season Performance And Future Outlook In Detroit
Since joining the Detroit Lions back in 2015, Quandre Diggs has vastly outplayed his 6th-round draft selection. His coverage skills coming from the University of Texas were top notch, which he combined with solid play recognition and very physical style of play to shut down receivers. At 5’9″, 200 lbs, he was prognosticated to primarily play slot receiver in the NFL. This was true when he came to Detroit, but 2017 could be the transitional year for Diggs from cornerback to safety.
His impressive career was capped off last year with his best season to date. Diggs’ third year jump should be very encouraging to see from Lions fans and coaching staff alike. His career-high three interceptions, nine pass deflections, 44 tackles, sack, and fumble forced was by far his best season. This boost in production came largely from Diggs moving from slot cornerback to the strong safety position.
As a safety, Diggs’ upper-end instincts and play recognition were more on display. Playing the strong safety or third safety roles in 2017 also complimented Diggs very physical style of play. These traits allowed him to make some really impressive plays, even against top competition like Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.
Quandre Diggs’ Future With The Lions
This production in a transitional year is very promising for Diggs, especailly when you factor in the addition of new Lions head coach Matt Patricia. During his years with the New England Patriots as their defensive coordinator, he employed a heavy amount of big dime, big nickel, and 3-3-5 formations where he employed three safeties.
Diggs’ anticipation make him great as a hang defender and strong safety in the new scheme. And with the regularity with which Patricia utilizes three safeties, keeping as many quality players at that position becomes paramount. The Lions have safeties Glover Quinn and Tavon Wilson signed for the next couple of season. They also signed DeShawn Shead from Seattle, who played all four defensive back spots. Miles Killebrew is also still employed in Detroit.
The competition for playing time, and even roster spots, in the Lions secondary is going to be fierce in 2018. Diggs put his best foot forward with his 2017 season, showcasing versatility and playmaking ability at an integral position for the Lions defensive scheme going forward. In a contract year, Diggs’ long-term future with the Lions remains uncertain at this point.
For Quandre Diggs to stay in Detroit for the long-term, he needs to stand out in among the crowd in 2018. However, if he can take another big step forward in his first year as a safety, there should be little to dissuade the Lions from re-signing Diggs if they have the cap space.