What The Lions General Manager Bob Quinn Had To Say About His 2018 Draft Selections
“We traded our third round pick in 2019 to get Da’Shawn Hand, defensive lineman from Alabama. That was a really good value pick. Big strong guy, position versatility, can play inside, can play outside, good scheme fit for us, good knowledge of our defensive line coach, that helped.”
“I think once you guys see us line up in OTA’s you’re gonna see that you gonna have to pay really close attention to where guys line up. We’re not gonna have a base 3-4, a base 4-3, so he’s a defensive lineman that can play anywhere from 7-technique all the way down to nose depending on the different fronts we’re gonna use, so that was one of the things we really liked about him.”
“I think he has a great ceiling. You know, he brings a rare combination of size, length, athleticism.”
Essentially Bob Quinn is telling us that fourth round pick Da’Shawn hand will play a variety of roles for the Lions, and that is the primary reason they traded up in the draft to pick him.
This gives us some insight into the type of defensive looks the Lions could use under Matt Patricia. Bob Quinn pretty much confirmed that the Lions will be using lots of hybrid looks in 2019 to try and confuse or take advantage of opposing offenses.
“The next round, we took Tyrell Crosby, offensive lineman from Oregon. Another good value pick, he really stood out on the board well above everybody else at that point, so it was really a pretty easy pick.”
“We had him graded a lot higher than where we took him, so we thought the value was just too good to pass up.”
“We see him as a guy that has multiple positions along our front. We had him in for a visit a couple weeks ago, and it was a good day. He brings a lot to the table.”
(On if he could play guard) “Yeah, possibly. I think he’s a tackle first. He’s never played guard, so we’re gonna have to see once we get him in here, but in terms of his size, his skill set, that he has a chance to give us some depth at both spots.”
(On why he fell in the draft) “I’m not sure. That’s probably a better question for the other teams. Sorry to side step it, but we had him up there, so I don’t know what all the other teams were saying about him, but I’d say my phone was dinging a lot after we took him, saying, you know, nice things from my colleagues. So, it makes you feel good.”
Here, Bob Quinn is agreeing with something many Lions fans have been saying since Saturday: that Tyrell Crosby is one of the steals of the draft.
Tyrell Crosby is an offensive tackle from Oregon who was originally projected to go in the second or third round of the draft. The Lions were able to take him in the fifth round.
Quinn also highlighted Crosby’s potential positional versatility. While he did not play guard in college, Quinn was very clear that he thinks Crosby has the potential to make that positional switch in the NFL.
Lastly, Bob Quinn reassured Lions fans that there wasn’t really a reason for Crosby’s fall. There are no injuries or character concerns, he’s just a really good player who happened to fall in this years draft.
On Nick Bawden
“He’s just something we wanted to add to the mix to give the offense a more physical presence. We wanted to add a fullback this offseason, and he was a good value at that pick.”
This was confirmation of something I had expected all offseason, the return of the fullback position to Detroit. New offensive line coach Jeff Davidson has always required a fullback to implement his power running scheme, and things will be no different with the Lions offense in 2018.
On Solidifying The Run Game
“I’ve been talking about that since January, and like I said the other night, we don’t play until September, so we’ve added some offensive lineman, added a running back in free agency, added a running back in the draft, so I think, on paper should our run game be better? Yeah, probably. Now it’s up to the players, the coaches and all of us to make sure we get out to the spring portion of our practices to implement the new guys into the system, get through training camp, and, you know, we’ll have a very physical training camp, and we’ll see how everything comes together. So, I think the pieces are there, now it’s up to every one of us in the building to make sure these guys produce at a high level.
“You look at the board, I think there was much, much more depth along the offensive line and at running back then there was at pass rush, and the pass rushers came off pretty early, then there was a huge drop off. So, it’s supply and demand every year.”
Bob Quinn had two statements about the Lions rushing attack here: the first being that he believes he has acquired the players necessary to fix the Lions running game this year. The Lions issues running the ball over the last few years have been well documented, and Quinn has gone all in on fixing it this offseason. He believes that at this point it’s just on him and the coaches to but these new players in positions to succeed.
Quinn also said something else that I had predicted this offseason, which is that offense early was the best value in this years draft. The offensive linemen and running backs in this draft class had a lot of talent in the first few rounds, while the defensive positions simply didn’t. Quinn’s draft picks and comments here confirm this.
On Free Agent Defensive Linemen
“Yeah, there’s a few vets we’ve been talking to the last couple weeks, so we’ll revisit some of those conversations, probably midweek. You know, we’ll get back on Monday to look at the roster and kinda reset the needs a little bit. Just because the draft’s over doesn’t mean the needs are done, you know. Just like I always say, there’s free agents out there, there’s street guys, we’re always trying to churn the roster.”
This is interesting because Quinn specifically let us know that they not only are still considering adding some veteran free agents, but they are actively in talks with them. Knowing this, be on the lookout for the Lions to possibly add some free agents in the coming weeks. Some potential veteran free agents that are currently available are Johnathan Hankins, Brian Cushing, Tamba Hali, Robert Ayers, Willie Young, Shea McClellin, Rick Jean Francois, and many others.
On Team Toughness From Last Year
“I think it was lacking. When you look at the team last year, you go back and study what we did well, which I do every week, and then what we did poorly, and I think, you know, really this game comes down to a couple things. NFL games come down to about five plays, or less, every week, and most of these plays are short yardage, goal line, third down, red area, special teams. So, if you can get your team to perform better in those situational areas, and you can win the majority of those four or five plays, then you’re gonna have a better chance to win. So, I think when you look back at our team last year, all those critical situations, like goal line, like, we can’t run the ball the half a yard, and that bothered me. So, I took it upon myself to implement some changes in terms of what we wanna do, what we wanna look at and what we wanna look like as a team. And when Matt came in I said, ‘listen, this is what I think we need to do,’ and he was on board, so that’s kinda what our plan has been since February fifth.”
Bob Quinn does a really good job capturing the frustration of Lions fans in this lengthy quote. He’s tired of not being able to convert in short yardage situations, and him and Matt Patricia were both all in on fixing that this offseason. He wanted to build a more physical football team, and he did that this offseason by singing LeGarrette Blount and drafting Frank Ragnow, Tyrell Crosby and Kerryon Johnson.
The Lions have what it takes to take the next step forward, in the running game and in overall team toughness. Now it is on the new coaching staff to push the players to get to the next level.