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The progress of third-year corner Amani Oruwariye shows just how close the Detroit Lions are to turning things around

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye (24) intercepts the football against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

This season's NFC and AFC interception leaders are well known across the NFL landscape: Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs and New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson are Pro Bowl starters who have achieved superstar status over the last 16 weeks.

Unless you’re a Detroit Lions fan, however, you probably don’t know that cornerback Amani Oruwariye currently ranks third in the NFL with six interceptions this season. Unfortunately, Oruwariye won’t be able to try and catch Diggs, who has 11 picks, or Jackson, who has seven, because his season is over due to a broken thumb. Still, the 2019 fifth-round pick certainly raised some eyebrows this season as he pushes to achieve his next set of goals.

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“I just want to be a household name when it comes to corner,” Oruwariye told PFF last week. “I want to be someone who’s talked about as one of the top corners around the league. Just in general, respect my game. I think the respect of your peers around the NFL is huge.”

Oruwariye, who at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds with 4.4 40-yard dash speed has ideal size and athleticism for a man or Cover-3 cornerback, has been especially stingy in post-safety coverage schemes. Oruwariye has allowed just a 64.9 passer rating in Cover-3 and a 44.7 passer rating in Cover-1.

His 57.5 passer rating against ranks ninth out of 130 qualified cornerbacks.

Amani Oruwariye | 2021
Coverage Coverage snaps Passer rating (rank) INTs Coverage grade
Overall 533 57.7 (ninth) 6 (third) 60.3
Cover-3 107 64.9 (17th) 3 (first) 79.4
Cover-2 101 105.4 (54th) 0 61.3
Cover-1 94 44.7 (sixth) 2 (third) 44.8
Cover-6 60 65 (25th) 0 77.8
Quarters 48 118.8 (87th) 0 53.8
Cover-0 30 69.6 (12th) 1 47.7

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