The Draft, Free Agency
The Lions are on track for possibly a top five choice next April, especially if Stafford remains inactive. They should be able to choose a very good prospect. Quinn most certainly will receive offers to trade down. 2020 is the year that he finally needs to take advantage of that opportunity.
Given the number of quality players needed, he could get several mid-round picks along the way. He then can use one or more of those picks to trade up to snag a coveted athlete or trade down for more picks as his big board dictates.
Here again, history proves this point. Minnesota’s defensive ends Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter who’ve terrorized the Lions for several years were third and fourth-round picks respectively, amassing an astounding 127.0 career sacks between them.
And Lions free-agent acquisition defensive end Trey Flowers was a fourth-round pick, as was defensive tackle Mike Daniels. Tampa Bay’s EDGE linebacker Shaquil Barrett wasn’t even drafted, yet he leads the league currently with 15.5 sacks.
Quinn has done quite well in his first four drafts (except for, of course, cornerback Teez Tabor). Yet even with these annual additions, they remain lacking in overall talent. Scanning the waiver wire at preseason cut-down time only adds slightly better fringe players.
This team needs to add good quality depth at every position. But let’s be clear. These guys weren’t brought in to make playoff appearances, it was to win Super Bowls. Playoff appearances are simply not good enough.
The scouting staff Quinn assembled have proven their acumen of drafting quality prospects. Before he was Lions GM he was director of pro scouting for the Patriots from 2012 until he arrived in Detroit in 2016. So if anybody knows how to maximize multiple picks it should be these guys.
Great athletes like Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders didn’t bring championships because they were never surrounded by good enough supporting casts. Matthew Stafford, the tough and accomplished signal-caller, has dedicated so much to this team with so little to show for it.
Stafford deserves a chance at a winning legacy just as much as the Detroit Lions faithful do. Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia must show major progress next year. Their jobs here in Detroit depend on it.