Would general manager Bob Quinn actually use the Detroit Lions‘ top overall selection to once again draft an offensive lineman?
If the belief that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior is true, then fans of the Detroit Lions might be somewhat disappointed during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The actual behavior I’m referring to is that of Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn.
Since taking over the reins of Motown back in 2016, Quinn has had three first-round selections to use in order to improve the roster. And twice, he’s opted to select offensive lineman with them. Starting left tackle Taylor Decker and left guard Frank Ragnow. Both of whom still have yet to prove themselves worthy of that high investment.
So it would stand to reason that the Lions are once again considering using their top pick in next week’s draft to address their offensive line needs. All-Pro right guard T.J. Lang opted to retire this offseason after Detroit released him. And now there is a glaring void along the line Quinn and company have tried so desperately to build the past four years.
And the draft experts are starting to agree. Here’s what NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah said after making Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams the Lions’ top pick in his most recent mock draft.
"“Detroit has spent a lot of draft capital on the offensive line, but I could see the Lions going back to the well one more time.”"
Would Quinn dare to draft three first-round offensive linemen in his first four years of his tenure as general manager? It seems like a stretch considering the young executive has never had a selection in the top ten of the draft before. Plus, there seems to be a belief that an adequate starter could be found on Day Two.
But offensive linemen are also some of the surest bets you can make in the draft. And if you happen to land a Pro Bowler, you usually have them on your roster for a decade or more (as long as you are willing to pay them).
Quinn has already proven he’s willing to go against the grain when making high selections in the draft. But using the eighth overall pick to do so is a different animal. Would Quinn actually address the offensive line that high, ignoring the team’s other needs?
If the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, then the answer is yes. Not only has Bob Quinn done it twice before, but two offensive linemen were drafted in the top ten just last year. And one of them, Indianapolis Colts’ guard Quenton Nelson, actually made the Pro Bowl in his first season.