NFL free company evaluation: Cameron Sutton ‘fits perfectly’ in Detroit Lions tradition

The Detroit Lions had been in robust want of a cornerback this offseason. They wasted no time going out and getting a very good one on Monday once they agreed to a cope with Steelers cornerback Cam Sutton shortly after the free company tampering interval started.

The Lions now have their No. 1 cornerback on the roster and nonetheless have loads of probabilities to construct the secondary round him. General supervisor Brad Holmes actually scored right here. Sutton was positively a participant the Steelers and their followers had been hoping they might maintain onto.

We needed to know extra about Sutton, so we reached out to our pal Josh Carney from The Steelers Depot to get some information. Here’s what he needed to say:

1. What are your general ideas on Sutton’s time with the Steelers?

“I like to call Sutton a late bloomer. Third-round pick in 2017 that never really saw the field much early, outside of special teams, and then really came on strong the last two years. Stepped into a starting role in 2021 and flourished. Put together the best year of his career in 2022, putting up some of the best coverage numbers in the league from both standard counting stats and advanced stats. He was a tremendous communicator in the secondary, knew what everyone’s role was, and made sure guys were lined up and on the same page often. Very rarely were there any coverage busts when he was on the field. I’d describe him as a steady, reliable, scrappy player that fits perfectly into Dan Campbell’s culture.”

2. What are his strengths?

“Versatility and communication are Sutton’s strengths. He provides a ton of value and flexibility in the secondary, being able to rotate in inverted coverages, which in turn helped spin Minkah Fitzpatrick down into the Robber/Lurker role in coverage he thrives in. Sutton is very good in the slot, too, but really came into his own on the boundary last season. Physical guy, great ball skills. Sutton is absolutely going to be a coach one day. Can’t state enough how intelligent he is.”

3. What are his weaknesses?

“Long speed and overall explosiveness are his weaknesses. He’s not going to succeed often in press coverage. Very sound in off coverage where he can read the quarterback’s eyes and try to pattern match, but he doesn’t have the quick-twitch that many cornerbacks have today. He wins between the ears, not with his physical traits. Though he is a physical corner, he struggled in the missed tackles department the last two years, too. Something to keep an eye on.”

4. Why do you suppose the Steelers let him get away? It seemed like there was some disappointment from the Steeler fan base.

“Pittsburgh had a number in mind with Sutton that they didn’t want to go over, and the Lions were willing to get there. It’s a big blow to the Steelers’ defense, no doubt. Great leader and communicator, beloved in the locker room. But it’s a very deep cornerbacks class in the draft, too, and it’s a new (mostly) scouting department in Pittsburgh with assistant GM Andy Weidl and Pro Scouting Director Sheldon White (whom Lions fans will know well) in elevated roles. Plenty to be disappointed about from the fan base’s perspective. A well-liked, key player who was a real success for the Steelers in their draft and develop mentality at the position.”

5. Sutton has been an awesome starter for the Steelers. Can he step as much as that CB1 spot?

“I think he profiles as more of a CB2, which bodes well for the Lions. He’ll be a great leader in a room full of young players and really should be able to take Jeff Okudah under his wing and bring him along. Same with Jerry Jacobs. Lions did very well to get a dependable leader with likely his best football in front of him off the open market at an affordable number. They are still in position to add a top corner at either No. 6 or No. 18 in the draft, too. Excellent move by the Lions.”

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