The Lions' philosophy the past few seasons has been that they will take a chance on young, talented football players, and nowhere has that been more evident — and successful — than at cornerback. In the offseason, the Falcons were ready to move on from Chris Houston, and the Lions were willing takers. So far, Houston has been competitive and active, an able starter. The Broncos had reached their limit with Alphonso Smith, a major disappointment whom the team had given up a lot for in the 2009 draft. In came the Lions, who saw a miscast player with ball skills. So far, Smith has impressed with his nose for the ball and willingness to improve. Is the recently signed Brandon McDonald in the same vein? Perhaps. Remember, he had a five-interception season in ’08 and is only 25 years old. But not all of the Lions' CB additions have been hits. Jonathan Wade has been a mess so far, and team sources say building his confidence up is much needed after a tough stretch leading up to the bye.