Bob Quinn spoke to the media Thursday for his annual pre-draft press conference exactly one week ahead of the start of the NFL Draft.
What were the key questions to come out of that media session?
Is this a good draft class with players who provide immediate help at positions of need?
“I think it’s well-rounded,” Quinn said. “You look across the draft board, there’s good depth at all the positions.
"I think at the typical positions, corner has one really large group of guys that you can get a good player at any portion of the draft. Receivers really deep, I think offensive line is deep. I mean, you can go across the board. It’s a good draft.”
What are the qualities Quinn looks for in a player drafted in the first round?
“I’d say it’s a couple things, playmaking and dependability would be two things,” Quinn said. “You want dependable players in this program. Obviously, if you’re taking them in the first round, they should be good players, right? Or I shouldn’t be standing up here.
“But I think dependability is something that’s really key with durability, ability to learn, competitive nature, does he love football, passion, all the things that we talk about on a daily basis when we talk about players and the guys we want to add to this organization. So, I think if I had to pick a couple words that would be it.”
Quinn’s two first-round picks the last two seasons were left tackle Taylor Decker and linebacker Jarrad Davis, both of whom fit that description to a tee.
Would the Lions draft an interior offensive lineman at No. 20?
“If he’s a good football player and he’s at or near top of the board, I have no problem taking an interior offensive lineman,” Quinn said. “I’d say in this year’s class, there are a number of them.
“I think it’s a pretty well-rounded class, guys that have some position flex. Guys that are maybe guards only, or centers only. So, I think there is a good mix. I’d say it’s maybe a little deeper than the last two years, but not significantly.”
The Lions have an opening at either left guard or center depending on where they decide to play Graham Glasgow.
Will Quinn look to acquire more draft picks?
He had 10 picks in his first draft in 2016 and nine picks last season. The Lions have six picks this year, tied for the fewest in the draft.
“I’m always in the business of getting more draft picks if I can,” he said. “I’m always in the business of getting more draft picks. I think that’s just good for business. The more you get, the more you’re going to hit on, so if we can acquire more picks, that would be something I’d look forward to.”
But Quinn also said that if there’s a player that he really likes at 20, he would have no hesitation at taking him.
Does the signing of veteran running back LeGarrette Blount change the draft strategy at running back?
“It could impact it a little bit,” Quinn said. “I mean, I think, you know, if we had to go play a football game today, I think we have enough running backs to be competitive.
"Now, is that saying I’m not going to take one? I don’t know, tell me who’s going to be on the board in the second, third, fourth round. I mean, I don’t know.”
How has drafting around the middle of the draft the last two years prepared Quinn to do it for a third season?
“We actually talked about that a couple days ago in that we’re in that similar ballpark,” Quinn said. “So, there’s always the guys that you know are going to go before you, right? You can sit there and say, ‘All right, here’s whatever, 10 guys, 12 guys. Under no circumstances they’re getting to you, right?’
“And then there’s, ‘Ok, well here’s another eight, say, that all right, out of those eight, which ones do we like?’ Because there’s a chance. And then there’s also that third group is we know these guys are going to be there. You know, do we wait? Do we trade back? So, it is actually pretty good. I mean, three years in a row kind of in the same ballpark, it helps me a little bit I’d say.”