Bob Quinn has had mixed results in his tenure with the Detroit Lions, but it’s safe to say he hasn’t made many admirers with several in the NFL media for his work with the team.
Such is the case with Rotoworld and contributor Patrick Daugherty. Recently, Daughtery ranked all the general managers in the NFL and Quinn came in at No. 30 on his list, just one spot above both brand new league bosses. It’s clear that Quinn is as close to the basement as possible in the league.
Here’s what Daugherty wrote:
“Do you have strong feelings about Bob Quinn? Does anybody? Where are the impact players? Where is the plan other than cycling through people Bill Belichick allowed to walk in free agency? Why was Jim Caldwell fired after back-to-back 9-7 seasons only to be replaced by Belichick’s least impressive mini-me, Matt Patricia? Nothing has gone right for Caldwell since his Patricia galaxy brain, with Patricia proving more adept at chasing off talent (Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs) than cultivating it. Not that Quinn has been killing it. His 2017 first-round pick, Jarrad Davis, just had his fifth-year team option declined. Quinn continues to overinvest in the running game. To a comical degree — Trey Flowers, Duron Harmon, Justin Coleman, Danny Shelton, Danny Amendola and literally eight others — Quinn only seems interested in ex-Patriots on the trade and free agent markets. How about instead of co-opting someone else’s identity, you create your own? This is the Detroit Lions. It’s going to take a big thinker to turn things around. Quinn only seems capable of copying someone else’s thoughts.”
That’s a pretty scathing take down of Quinn as well as his boss Matt Patricia. It’s clear the duo haven’t been successful early in their tenure, but Daugherty seems to imply that there isn’t much hope here for Lions fans in 2020 and beyond with this duo at the helm.
There are two sides to every story, of course. The Lions have done a decent job in some ways with Quinn, finding solid players in the draft and free agency. There’s been misses of course, but no general manager is perfect. Quinn can take steps toward dispelling this frustrating ranking this season.
Lions Legend Defends Bob Quinn
After watching the wheels fall off of the Lions last season the field, Spielman took to Twitter late last season to provide some of his takes on where he sees things going. As he said, he thinks that the duo of Quinn and Patricia will get things right in the end, there is a plan and it will come together.
— Chris Spielman (@chris_spielman) November 26, 2019
Typically, as expected, Lions fans brushed back at Spielman for his commentary wondering how and why he could have any faith in the duo, but the former linebacker said that he simply thinks that more time will be needed to get things in the right direction for Detroit.
We do have an understanding that this is a results oriented business. Players coaches mgmt know the rules. I just strongly believe (no inside info) gut feeling that it will take a little more time do get where they all want to be
— Chris Spielman (@chris_spielman) November 26, 2019
The dialogue continued with Spielman fielding a ton of questions about why he believes in Patricia and Quinn, but the former linebacker didn’t waver in his support for the duo.
Many have been putting the pressure on Patricia and Quinn with takes like the ones above. Spielman, however, agrees with Patricia that patience is needed most of all.
Bob Quinn’s Lions Tenure
Quinn came to Detroit after Martha Ford stunningly blew out Detroit’s front office following a debacle in the 2015 season. Quinn entered from New England and elected to observe Caldwell for two full seasons before making a move. Though Caldwell would finish with a winning record, Quinn eventually sacked him at the end of the season in 2017.
All the while, Quinn has been the one crafting the roster, and there have been some major hits as well as some obvious misses for the general manager. In 2016, Quinn’s first draft involved the selection of Taylor Decker along the offensive front. Decker has been solid, but far from elite. The 2016 draft also saw the Lions pick up Graham Glasgow who’s been a starter, as well as a solid piece.
From there, Quinn has managed to find a few difference makers every draft season. 2017 brought Jarrad Davis, who has been alright as well as Kenny Golladay, who has arguably been Quinn’s best pick. In subsequent drafts, players like Glasgow, Jamal Agnew, Frank Ragnow, Da’Shawn Hand, Tracy Walker, Kerryon Johnson and Tyrell Crosby have been solid contributors and shown glimpses.
In free agency, Quinn’s work has been more hit or miss. He has picked up names like Marvin Jones, Justin Coleman, Trey Flowers and Devon Kennard but has surprised by adding names like Jesse James, Christian Jones and Rashaan Melvin, all of whom have struggled to fit in. Quinn has also made some failed signings at running back.
As a whole, it’s perhaps a bit more on Quinn that Detroit has struggled so badly in recent season. His roster has not had the advantage of key depth that so many teams in the NFL feature.
If Quinn can turn this around, he might rise on such lists in the future. For now, though, he is quite low.
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