Not sure if you heard about this but the Philadelphia Eagles traded for star cornerback Darius Slay earlier today. The three-time Pro Bowler has the potential to be the best corner the Eagles have had since ... the dawn of time, perhaps?
In order to learn more about Philly’s newest defensive back, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Detroit Lions perspective on Slay. I reached out to the magnanimous Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) of Pride Of Detroit and here’s what he had to say about Big Play Slay.
1) Can you recap Slay’s career with the Lions?
Slay was not who anyone initially wanted when the Lions drafted him back in 2013. We knew the Lions needed a corner, we were hoping for Dee Milliner or Slay’s partner in crime at Mississippi State Jonathan Banks. But Slay made everyone change their minds immediately. Then he just kept getting better and better every year.
You could tell early on that he would be good. Then around 2015 he seemed to hit this level that nobody thought he would hit and he became elite. I think this was around the time that he started working with Rod Woodson. Last year his play began to take a dip. But it’s likely due to him playing on a bad hamstring.
2) How are Lions fans reacting to this trade?
The reaction right now is not as bad as it may seem. It’s been expected since the Lions traded Quandre Diggs at the deadline that Slay would more than likely be gone next. Lions fans are handling this pretty well outside the few idiots. The return is not as good as anyone wanted. There was no way the Lions were getting a first round pick. But I think most were hoping for a second. At the the end of the day, a third sets them up pretty well. they now have five picks inside the top 85. I’m sure one of those will be used on Jeff Okudah.
3) What are Slay’s strengths?
Slay’s footwork is unmatched. The guy can stick with any receiver in the game when he’s on. He’s frustratingly good at times. You almost find yourself getting upset with him because the opposing quarterback is just terrorizing the other corner and staying away from Slay.
4) What are Slay’s weaknesses?
Right now his weakness is his body. Fair or not, it seems like lately Slay is having trouble staying healthy. While he’s only missed two games in the last tow years, he’s continued to play while injured and it’s visibly affecting what he’s able to do. On multiple occasions he’s had to come off the field to get looked at. Whether this turns int a long term problem is unknown. But last year he hit the injury report five weeks in a row for his hamstring.
5) Slay seemingly had a down year last season. To what extent should there be concern about his ability to rebound?
Kinda going back to the hamstring thing again. I think that’s what hurt Slay’s season. Aside from that, he did take a step back. But not a big one. I wouldn’t be too worried if I were an Eagles fan. As long as he can stay healthy and natural regression doesn’t hit him hard, I’d expect another Pro Bowl year form Slay.
6) Anything else to know about him off the field?
Get ready for the most outspoken guy you’ll ever talk to in the locker room. Dude does not care who’s listening. He’s going to tell you what’s on his mind. Good or bad. More often than not, it’s going to be hilarious. But if he’s not happy, guys in the locker room won’t be the only one to know.