The Detroit Lions needed help at cornerback this offseason, and may have scored some from the most underrated source.
Emmanuel Moseley wouldn’t have been on the radars of most folks heading into free agency as a younger name with less production coming off an injury, but the Lions are betting big on Moseley being ready to go and prove them right.
The good news, at least as it relates to health, is that Moseley could be on the right track toward getting that done. When meeting with the media for the first time on Thursday, March 16, Moseley was asked where he is at within his recovery. The answer? Progressing well.
“I would definitely say it’s going well. I’ve been putting in a lot of work. I’m about five months out now. We got a lot of time in between training camp, so I am going to continue to do that and then when it’s time for me to get out there and go, I’ll go,” Moseley said to the media of his injury recovery.
While things are going good, Moseley wouldn’t commit to being ready for the Lions quickly this offseason in the spring. As he said, he will be around and working with his teammates in the meantime as his rehab continues.
“I think I am going to be around, definitely going to be around the guys. Helping as much as I can, being there watching film wth the guys, being there on the field with the guys, as much as I can to be the leader that I know I can be around this building,” he explained.
If there’s a bright spot, the injury happened in Week 5. That means time is on Detroit’s side here, which is likely why they moved on Moseley quickly in free agency. By the time training camp gets going in July, Moseley will be nine months out from injury, which could leave him poised to return for camp and the season.
Safe to say the Lions are depending on him making a big impact, and many think that will happen. The team feels unlikely to have made this type of move if they didn’t think it was possible Moseley would be ready for next season.
Emmanuel Moseley Exited Reuniting With Cam Sutton
When he does get back on the field, Moseley will have a happy reunion with one of his former college teammates in Cameron Sutton.
The move to add Moseley reunited him with his former teammate from Tennessee in the recently-signed cornerback Sutton. As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News pointed out after the agreement was first reached, the pair were former teammate with the Volunteers.
“Kind of cool, Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton were college teammates at Tennessee,” Rogers tweeted.
Moseley himself did admit the ability to reconnect with a guy he not only played with in college but got to know very closely will be a special outcome. Sutton even served as Moseley’s host on his recruiting visit, so the pair is close.
“I remember the day I was riding up to Tennessee. I get to Tennessee, there’s a guy who walks out. He’s like ‘hey I’m going to be your host for the day.’ It was Cam Sutton. Years later, full-circle, we’re playing with each other. That’s pretty cool. He was on one side, I was on one side. I always learned from him, he learned from me. He’s always been that big brother to me. I am sure he’s going to do the same thing here,” Moseley said.
In terms of stats, Moseley had a nice career in college, with 141 total tackles, two interceptions, 29 passes defended and 9.5 tackles for-loss. Sutton was the same, with 217 tackles, seven interceptions, 30 passes defended, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The duo overlapped from 2014-2016, with Sutton heading into the NFL in 2017, and Moseley in 2018. Tennessee ran off a pair of 9-4 seasons with the pair in 2015 and 2016.
Comfort can mean a great deal to players, and now, the Lions are giving Moseley and Sutton, their two bigger free agency splashes so far, good reason to feel that comfort in 2023.
Prior to injury, Moseley was playing very good football in San Francisco. While the injury was a bad break for the cornerback, it may have been a lucky break for the Lions to score a rising talent at a much cheaper cost.
Statistically, Moseley has done a nice job to adjust to the league and make an impact as a former undrafred free agent. Since joining San Francisco, Moseley has put up 161 tackles, 33 passes defended and one touchdown as well as one fumble recovery.
As he explained, he believes his physicality is his best attribute on the field, and he is a player who loves to throw his body around as well as lead a team.
“I’m a very physical corner. I may not look it all the time. I love coming up to tackle, love being up in front of people’s faces. Getting my hands on people. Can play off coverage. Smart corner, confident corner. Just pretty much a leader, so that’s pretty much my game,” Moseley told the media.
Moseley was being counted on for a big 2022 season, but got unlucky with the ACL injury. Now, he’s working hard to get back on the field and be ready for the 2023 season.
It sounds like that is set to be the case with Moseley as the weeks draw on.