Detroit Lions: Bob Quinn hints he’s not drafting a first round running back
Is the fact Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn omitted the first round as a possible landing spot for a running back meaningful or simply a smokescreen?
When it comes to first round running backs, the upcoming NFL draft is pretty clear. There is Penn State’s Saquon Barkley … and then there’s the rest. And after posting the league’s worst rushing offense in 2017, the Detroit Lions clearly have a need at the position.
But after signing three-time Super Bowl champion LeGarrette Blount in the offseason, running back isn’t quite the pressing need it once was in the Motor City. In fact, with a roster full of running backs, some may question if it’s a need at all.
As of right now, the Lions have six running backs on the depth chart. Along with Blount there’s Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah, Tion Green, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington. That’s already a full house in Detroit. And Quinn was more than happy to sit on his hands last offseason, refusing to draft running backs like Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt in the third round.
What makes us think Quinn and the Lions’ brass have changed their minds about the value of the position? Especially considering they signed Blount in offseason. How much will his presence influence Detroit’s draft strategy?
"“It could impact it a little bit,” Quinn told DetroitLions.com when asked about the impact of signing Blount on the upcoming draft. “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.”"
It is very interesting that Quinn did not mention the first round in the above quote. It could certainly point to the possibility the Lions do not believe anyone not named Saquan Barkley is worthy of a first round pick.
Maybe Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia simply don’t value running backs very highly. The New England Patroits obviously don’t. And these two men are New England disciples.
Quinn’s omission of the first round seems pretty obvious here. And at this late stage of draft speculation, smokescreens are abundant. Perhaps the Lions are hoping a team doesn’t leapfrog them for a running back they covet in the first round. Or maybe Quinn simply doesn’t like any of the running backs projected to be available at #20, especially considering the alternatives in the later rounds.
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Regardless, the position of running back will be the hottest topic in the Motor City until the moment the Detroit Lions draft one. And then, let the speculation begin about that prospect’s role alongside Blount and if he is indeed the future of the position in Detroit.