ORLANDO – When Bob Quinn sat down to begin drafting his first class of rookies as Lions general manager in 2016, he had 10 picks to help build his roster.
Four of those picks have developed into key starters in just two years – Taylor Decker, A’Shawn Robinson, Graham Glasgow and Anthony Zettel – and a fifth (Joe Dahl) could join them this season. Key reserve Miles Killebrew and backup quarterback Jake Rudock were also members of that first draft class.
Quinn had nine picks last season with Jarrad Davis, Kenny Golladay, Jamal Agnew (All-Pro), Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Michael Roberts, Jeremiah Ledbetter and Teez Tabor all making key contributions as rookies.
Currently, Quinn has just six picks in next month’s draft, which is tied with four other teams for the lowest total in the league.
Given the success he's had in his first two drafts identifying talent and getting early contributions from his first-year players, Quinn says he’ll certainly keep his options open in terms of potentially acquiring more picks.
“Absolutely,” he said Monday. “That’s something that will definitely be in the talks I’d say, a week or two leading up to the draft.
“Try to get more picks, but it’s easier said than done. Sometime those things really can’t happen until draft day or draft weekend. But we’ll have conversations leading up to it. The more the better.”
Quinn has always had the philosophy of building a roster through the draft and supplementing it via free agency. It’s not only the most salary-cap friendly way to build a team, but it typically promotes longer roster sustainability.
“You want to really build your team, you know, through the offseason to go into the draft without a ton of needs,” Quinn said.
Done successfully, that allows Quinn to trust his board and draft the best available player and not reach for needs.
“I feel good with where we are now,” Quinn said. “I think the draft process is kind of not winding down, we’re kind of still in the middle of it, but a good month to go here, so I’m excited about where we’re at. Still a lot more work to do and getting the coaches kind of involved here the last couple weeks has been good.”