Embed from Getty Images A third round draft pick in 2018, Tracy Walker was a question mark among the Detroit Lions fan base and some media members. At the Time Glover Quinn was cemented at one safety position and Quandre Diggs at the other. So why draft another safety?
After the Detroit Lions released the popular Quinn, mostly because he did not fit what Matt Patricia envisioned for his defense, Detroit began to give Tracy Walker more playing time.
Walker was a small school draft pick, he started the season on special teams. When the Detroit Lions were eliminated from the playoffs, Walker saw his playing time increase greatly as it became apparent the Lions were moving on from Quinn.
With every game as well as every snap Walker looked more and more comfortable. He showed tremendous range and versatility. Lining up at different spots in the secondary. Tracy Walker disrupted passes and recorded 2 interceptions. Had Walker qualified for enough snaps, he would have ranked fourth among safeties with an 89.9 grade. Tracy only played 27.1% of the defensive snaps.
Heading into OTA’s and fall camp, one safety job belongs to Walker. Patricia has always hated giving out jobs with a player facing competition. In the case of Walker, it would take an unbelievable performance to knock his out of the starting job.
I have penciled Tracy Walker as my Detroit Lion who very well could be a breakout player this coming season.
Embed from Getty Images There are times when a sports franchise is blessed with a good person. In 2013 the Detroit Lions signed free agent safety Glover Quin to a 5 year $23.5 million dollar contract. They signed more than a football player.
Having watched and follow the Detroit Lions since 1980, I can honestly say I have seen players come and players go. This one hurts almost as much as when the Lions let linebacker Chris Spielman go.
During his time in Detroit, Glover Quin never missed a start. In the rough and tough world of professional football that is extraordinary. 148 games played. He doubled games played by other safeties during the same time span.
Glover Quin was and will continue to be the benchmark for consistency. On a personal note Glover is one of my all-time favorite Lions. I try not to attach personal feelings to a player. But man alive…….
By releasing Quin the Detroit Lions save $6.25 million in salary cap money. He always had a way with coaches and teammates and the Detroit media that made people both feel better and feel respected.
Much the way Spielman was the heart and soul of the late 1980’s though mid 1990’s Detroit defenses. That is what Quin has been for his time in.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn released a statement:
“We thank Glover for his countless contributions to the Detroit Lions during his six seasons with our team. Since joining the organization in 2013, Glover exemplified everything it means to be a true professional in the league- as both a competitor on the field and a leading voice in the community. Coach (Matt) Patricia and I have the utmost respect for him as a man and as a player, we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”
On the surface this looks like a cold cut. Quin’s play did drop off this past season. Glover also admitted he thought about retiring. Those I am sure were factors in the Lions decision.
Detroit Free Press Lions beat writer Carlos Monarrez, took it a step further. Saying the Detroit Lions need to put Glover Quin in the Lions Ring of Honor. I agree!
Embed from Getty Images At 6′ 1″ new Detroit Lions, Tracy Walker was brought in with an eye on the future. For good reason. He’s a hitter.
Walker, is a very fluid athlete. He gets to the ball with little problem. As a three year starter at Louisiana-Lafayette he was an absolute ball-hawk. That is a plus given the talent in Detroit’s secondary.
He has a very quick first step and is fast to the point of attack. Tracy Walker does seem to have one speed and has been beaten deep. Leading me to believe he will play in a lot of zone situation.
Again the Detroit Lions, have a very good secondary so if Walker, plays zone he could also be a stand out special teams player given his instincts for getting to the ball.
Not too mention current Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs is entering the final year of his contract and has not developed as well as Lions, general manage Bob Quinn had hoped.
Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patrica is famously known for coaching players up to a higher level than the players draft status could bode well for Tracy Walker.
He has the natural instincts that coaches look for and that can’t be taught. Getting to the ball before the pass is in the air. It will be fun to see just what Patricia and his coaching staff can do to elevate Walkers game.