The Detroit Lions seemed to have made a mistake when they drafted cornerback Teez Tabor. But general manager Bob Quinn isn’t ready to give up on him.
Since taking over as general manager for the Detroit Lions back in 2016, Bob Quinn has had an impressive run in both free agency and in the draft. His decisions have landed names like wide receiver Kenny Golladay, running back Kerryon Johnson, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, right guard Ricky Wagner, and several others in Motown.
But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few missteps on the way as well for Quinn. His most glaring blemish? Far and away it is the selection of Florida cornerback Teez Tabor in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Tabor was a highly productive defensive back for the Gators, racking up 37 pass defends and nine interceptions as a three-year starter. The biggest on-field concern for the young prospect coming out of college was his lack of top-end speed, recording a 4.62 forty at the combine and an even slower 4.75 at his Pro Day.
The young defensive back tumbled down draft boards, landing with the Lions in the second round with the 53rd overall selection. And after a rookie season spent mostly on the bench or as a healthy scratch, Tabor has made a total of five starts in his first two seasons in Detroit. He has yet to record a single pass deflection or interception in his professional career.
Now, it is believed Detroit could use another high draft selection in order to address their need at the cornerback position opposite two-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay. But Quinn isn’t ready to give up on Tabor becoming that player.
Here’s what Quinn told MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke on Wednesday during the NFL Scouting Combine about his continued support of the former second rounder.
"“Listen, I still have faith in [Tabor]. He obviously hasn’t played as much as I would’ve hoped, but I think we’re not giving up on him. I actually had a conversation with him a couple days ago. He’s a guy that we’re counting on to get better … Some guys take a huge step between Year 1 and Year 2. I’m hoping Teez takes a big step from Year 2 to Year 3.”"
We have seen this kind of unwarranted support from Quinn before, specifically with another former second rounder, running back Ameer Abdullah. The four-year veteran was ultimately waived by Detroit last November and ended up getting claimed by NFC North rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.
In the case of Teez Tabor, I think it’s a matter of fans will believe it when they see it on the field. So far, Tabor is still considered Bob Quinn’s biggest misstep.