PHILADELPHIA (CBS Detroit/AP) — With the No. 53 overall pick, the Detroit Lions selected Florida cornerback Teez Tabor in the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday night.
Tabor declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season in the fall. He totaled 33 tackles, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), six pass break-ups, one sack and a fumble recovery last season.
Tabor was also named a First Team All-SEC cornerback.
Many analysts believe Tabor was a first-round talent, but slipped to the second round after posting a sub par 40-yard dash time during the NFL Combine (4.62 seconds).
Tabor’s NFL.com draft profile compares him to Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
Detroit’s defense has been a priority so far in the draft after being largely overlooked in free agency. The franchise focused on offense, adding veteran linemen Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang to replace departing free agents Riley Reiff and Larry Warford early in the offseason.
The Lions are hoping second-year general manager Bob Quinn can follow up his first draft with another successful series of picks this year. Quinn’s first four picks last year, starting with first-round offensive tackle Taylor Decker, all went on to play key roles during at least some stretches of last season.
Detroit struggled to make game-changing plays on defense last year and has been looking for playmakers on that side of the ball. Its search, clearly, included a couple of former Gators.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)