Where does Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn rank among NFL GMs?
Entering his fifth season as the Detroit Lions general manager, Bob Quinn has experienced some ups, but more downs. Comparing him to the rest of the NFL’s general managers, where do you think he ranks?
On Monday, The Score released their rankings of all 32 general managers and Quinn made an early and fair appearance at 25th overall. He was hired in Detroit in 2016 to take the Lions over the hump. Instead, the team has experienced a steady decline from playoff appearances to a top-five pick in the NFL Draft.
Starting with the wins and losses, Quinn navigated the team to a 9-7 finish in 2016 and lost a playoff game in the Wild Card round to the Seattle Seahawks. The following season, the Lions repeated their record but missed the playoffs. In 2018, they posted a losing record at 6-10 before falling to 3-12-1 last season. One can only hope this is rock bottom for Quinn.
What has Bob Quinn done with the Detroit Lions roster?
One of Quinn’s first moves with the Detroit Lions was to sign long-time quarterback and team-leader Matthew Stafford to an extension. The price tag was high at the time but has since been surpassed multiple times with other quarterbacks. The Score had this to say about some of the other roster moves.
"“However, despite possessing a franchise signal-caller, Quinn hasn’t been able to build a strong roster around him. Granted, the offensive line has improved, and landing wideout Kenny Golladay in the third round in 2017 was a steal. But some of Detroit’s questionable decisions include using the eighth overall pick on tight end T.J. Hockenson and signing Trey Flowers to a $90-million deal.”"
It’s no secret Quinn started working to revamp the offensive line almost immediately. He selected left tackle Taylor Decker and interior linemen Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl in 2016. Then he signed right tackle Ricky Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang in free agency in 2017. And, in 2018, he drafted center Frank Ragnow.
There’s a bit of a pattern there as Quinn drafted offensive linemen in 2016 and 2018 while not drafting a single one in 2017 and 2019. Then, in 2020, he drafted two more in guards Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg. With a new high-round draft pick, he might have finally helped the run game as well.
Now, we know that Golladay has been worth the investment of a third-round pick and is a star on the outside for the Lions. But the criticism of tight end T.J. Hockenson as questionable is a bit early. While his first season stats weren’t stellar as a receiver, he did miss some time with a scary injury. His biggest contribution might not even be catching the ball. Moving bodies and making running lanes could boost his value far beyond what most fans see during games.
On the defensive side of the ball, Quinn seems to have brought over a bunch of friends from New England. It may be scheme and coaching related, but they are also players that have won football games, especially in the playoffs, and know what it takes to win. One of those players is Flowers.
Flowers posted 51 tackles, 21 quarterback hits, eight tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2019. Those numbers and his impact on the game seems to be worth the money after one season. As the defense continues to be built with help at the cornerback position from first-round draft pick Jeffrey Okudah, it’s hard to say Flowers’ contract was questionable.
After looking through all the moves and additions made by Quinn, it’s hard to believe the record the team has posted the past two seasons. The talent doesn’t appear to be matching the output on the field. As a first-time general manager, Quinn has done some nice things. But the outcome justifies the rank of 25th best general manager. Things can only get better from here as a three-win season should be his rock bottom with this Detroit Lions franchise.