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Quinn shares thoughts on roster, draft philosophy

Detroit is a middle-class kind of town -- blue collar if you will -- but one of the first orders of business for new general manager Bob Quinn is boosting the Lions' "middle class."

In his previous job as Patriots director of pro scouting, it was Quinn's responsibility to know and evaluate the talent around the NFL. His initial thoughts were that the Lions had some terrific talent at the top of the roster, but lacked depth in the "middle class" of the 53.

Quinn says it will be up to him to use every avenue available to bolster that part of the roster.

"It's not just the draft," he said. "We're going to bring guys in for workouts. Were going to (look at) different leagues. Waiver wire claims.

"Every day during the season and in the offseason the personnel notice comes out. So I'm going to scour that, have our staff scour that and we're going to find better players to help the middle class of this team."

Players with some versatility will be high on his list.

"That's something that we preached in New England," Quinn said of having a roster full of versatile players. "If a guy can do more than one thing for you, then he saves a roster spot and that allows us to do something else with that roster spot."

Quinn is right. The draft isn't the only way to build a roster, but it's typically the most efficient. This offseason will be his first opportunity to run his own draft.

"Listen, in New England, coach (Bill) Belichick took the cards off the board when we selected (players)," Quinn said. "Here, I'm going to be taking the cards off the board, but it's going to be a group decision and the best decision for the Detroit Lions."

Quinn plans to surround himself with good people – potentially some from New England – and will trust his eyes and his evaluation process that worked so well with the Patriots.

What about his draft philosophy? There was so much talk from the previous regime here in Detroit about best player available vs. need.

Quinn says his philosophy is a mesh between both ideologies.

"Everyone says it's best available or need," he said. "For me, it's a mesh. You can't just say I'm going to take the best available player. If you have a starting level, say running back, why would you take a running back in the first round?

"I think you definitely have to establish a mesh of need and best available, and that's how we'd set up our draft board."

Quinn is coming in and building these processes from the ground level up, and cautions that it will take some time.

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