The Detroit Lions know that building a roster requires more than just the big free agency signing and hitting on key draft picks. There’s an under the radar element to building a successful team, and it involves hitting on lower free agency and waiver wire finds.
This season, Quinn has done a great job to hit on a few key players that have sparked the Detroit offense. In wide receiver Marvin Hall and running back J.D. McKissic, Quinn has found two guys who have ended up playing a major role for the team.
McKissic has been an excellent complement to the backfield, turning in multiple big plays this season catching the ball. He’s shown speed and been an X-factor for the offense when they have needed a big play or a trick play in order to jump start things. He’s one of a few reasons the Lions have to feel decent about their run game, even without Kerryon Johnson in the fold for the time being.
At wide receiver, Hall has found a deep ball connection with Matthew Stafford, changing several games with big passing plays over the top. Hall’s emergence has given the Lions an all-important deep ball threat down the field that they have lacked in recent years.
Quinn’s ability to find these two, and multiple others for the roster has gone a long way toward helping the Lions build something for the season.
McKissic has NFL experience before, playing with the Seattle Seahawks. In Seattle, he never came close to making his mark as much as he has in Detroit. An assist can probably be given to Darrell Bevell on this pickup, as he coached with Seattle when McKissic was breaking into the league out of Arkansas State. A find from there, McKissic gave Seattle some good things on the ground in 2017, finishing the season with 187 rushing yards and 1 touchdown, 266 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. That’s decent production.
After joining the Lions off the Seattle roster following final cuts, McKissic has made himself a home in the team’s offense, showing the explosive play knack to the team. In half a season in Detroit, McKissic has 109 rushing yards and 73 receiving yards. He’s been a valuable target for the offense and impressive. When he’s touched the ball, a big play has usually resulted, proving he is a key commodity for the team.
Big Play Knack
Hall, a wideout who competed with the Washington Huskies, bounced around on several teams and practice squads before finding his best home in Detroit. He played with the Atlanta Falcons the longest and caught a touchdown pass there from Matt Ryan. He’s caught 2 touchdowns for 209 yards, but in Detroit, Hall has a long reception of 58 yards and has managed to get loose multiple times down the sideline to make impressive catches. Safe to say he’s earned his spot on the roster where many would not have seen a path for him coming into the season.
Between the two, a big part of the offense has been found in explosive plays, something the Lions lacked greatly in recent years. With the waiver wire work by Quinn, the Lions have managed to get their hands on a couple overlooked guys who are helping to round out the roster in Detroit.