Published April 27, 2013
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Darius Slay thought he'd hear his name during the first day of the NFL draft, but he walked out of Radio City Music Hall without a team.
He stuck around, however, and the Detroit Lions didn't make him wait long.
"I just stayed in New York City," he said. "I wanted to walk on the stage and enjoy every minute of it."
The Lions gave him that chance when they selected the Mississippi State cornerback with the fourth pick of Friday's second round, the 36th overall.
"I'm here to compete and get better every day," he said Saturday when he met reporters at the team's headquarters and training facility.
The 6-0, 192-pound Slay was a second-team all-conference selection in the loaded SEC after recording five interceptions and a touchdown return with 40 tackles. He could compete for a starting spot in a secondary that only had cornerback Chris Houston healthy for most of last season.
Coach Jim Schwartz expects him to.
"That's why we drafted him," he said.
Slay injured a knee during the NFL combine but he said Saturday he's ready to go.
"I feel pretty healthy right now," he said. "I can do a full workout right now."
The Georgia native, who'll wear No. 30 for the Lions, started his collegiate career at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College, became a starter halfway through his first season at Mississippi State and started all 13 games of his senior season.