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O'HARA: Quinn helps strengthen o-line with first pick

Bob Quinn made his first draft pick as general manager of the Detroit Lions without a lot of drama and angst.

What he got with that pick – offensive tackle Taylor Decker of Ohio State, taken by Quinn with the 16th pick overall in the first round Thursday night – is a player who fills a need and arrives in Detroit with a winning pedigree in college and without any personal baggage.

Quinn didn't have to spend a second of his 10-minute press conference talking about any issue in Decker's personal life that the Lions had to overlook or explain away.

The statistics from the Lions' 2015 season pointed to an obvious weakness. They gave up 44 sacks, and the running game ranked last in the league.

In a draft that was low on stars and glamor and high on solid players, Quinn didn't try to outsmart the draft board. He drafted a solid player to help strengthen the offensive line.

"This is a position of need," Quinn said. "When you factor in those stats ... you evaluate the film and say, 'How did the offensive line play?' I think that's one of the areas we had to address.

"I felt like this was the best player at the right time to help us going forward."

Quinn was pretty matter of fact in discussing the process that led to the Lions drafting Decker. From watching game tapes and personal interviews, the Lions got a feel for how and where he'd fit with the offensive line.

That's most likely at right tackle, but it's not an absolute.

Riley Reiff, a first-round pick in 2012, has been the full-time starter at left tackle the last three years. There has been some talk about the possibility of Reiff moving to right tackle. Decker played right tackle at Ohio State in 2013 and left tackle the last two years, but he seems more suited to playing the right side in the pros.

The bottom line on Quinn's first draft pick for the Lions is that there isn't a bottom line, and that's not a bad thing. One pick represents a starting point, and it's hard to fault drafting a player who was rated by most analysts as a first-round talent at a position where there was an obvious need.

Decker was the No. 4 tackle in the draft, and the other three – Ronnie Stanley of Notre Dame, Jack Conklin of Michigan State and Laremy Tunsil of Mississippi – were off the board when it was Quinn's turn at No. 16.

There's more to come, of course – in this draft and in other personnel moves in seasons to come. Quinn has to fill other needs in the second and third rounds on Friday and the final five rounds on Saturday.

For the record, my final mock draft projected the Lions taking defensive end Shaq Lawson of Clemson.  I also had all four offensive tackles gone – with Decker off the board at No. 15, one pick ahead of the Lions.

A flurry of trades in front of the Lions jumbled the order of teams. The Lions had some inquiries but didn't make a move.

"We had a couple of conversations with other teams," Quinn said, without specifying whether the offers were to trade up or down. "We decided to stay."

Quinn was asked near the end of his press conference if Decker was a safe pick, and if it represented that he might be adverse to being a risk-taker.

"I think it's circumstances," Quinn said. "At certain times during my reign here there might be a certain time to take a risk.

"The first couple years, I'd rather be safe than sorry."

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