ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Bob Quinn has been very comfortable making trades throughout his tenure as general manager of the Detroit Lions. It can be in training camp or at the trade deadline, in the offseason or during the draft. He’s usually very willing to make a move.
Quinn is likely to be the same this year during the NFL draft; he has been very open about his interest in moving down if the right situation fits. Moving up, however, is something entirely different.
“There’s a couple players right up at the top that you’d obviously love to have,” Quinn said. “I just don’t think I have enough ammunition to get up there. Like I said previously, I’d rather move back a couple of spots, if anything. So there’s definitely good players at the top, at the very top. There’s good players at eight, too, guys that we’re excited about that hopefully a couple of them are there and we can choose from a couple of them.
“But yeah, I don’t think I’m going to be in the business of moving up in this year’s draft, but there are players that are worthy of that.”
That probably means he thinks the draft’s best defenders – like Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Kentucky’s Josh Allen – will be gone before the Lions pick. It would be an interesting scenario if one of the three somehow slid to No. 6 or maybe even No. 5, because Quinn might have the picks and capital to try and make that move.
But any higher than that and he probably isn’t willing to mortgage it, especially in a deep draft for front-seven talent.
Being in the top 10, though, is a new place for Quinn. A team he has been a part of hasn’t been in a top-10 position since the 2001 draft after his first year in the league, when New England took Richard Seymour at No. 6. Quinn was a player personnel assistant at the time, so he had no say in decision-making. So this will be his first go at a top-10 pick – if he keeps it. And he’d like it to be his last – at least of his team’s own doing.
And that’s the other question. Though he said there was “no reason” he has been so open and vocal about trading down, the interest is clearly there. He was also vague about how far down he’d be willing to go, but he left open the possibility of dropping a decent amount.
“It’s a situation where it’s hard to say right now, to be quite frank with you,” Quinn said. “Some teams in that 13-to-15 range, they don’t want to do anything but you get an offer from 21 and it looks really good and you’re looking at the board and 8 to 21 is 13 spots.
“There’s 13 good players I like there so you have to do quick math, you look at your board and I’m going to say, 'I’m going to at least get that guy,' kind of just evaluate it there.”
As with anything when it comes to the draft, it’ll be a matter of balance and perspective, too. When the time comes at No. 8, he’ll look at the clock, check out any potential offers, look at trade value charts for advice, and maybe work the phones. Unless there’s someone who unexpectedly falls, making the selection a no-brainer, he’ll probably be active while trying to find the best possible option.
If that means taking a player ... fine. Trading the pick ... that’s OK, too.
“It’s something you have to study. You have to ... there’s gut instinct involved here, too,” Quinn said. “This isn’t just like you plug it into your computer, your matrix, and it just spits out yes or no, you make that trade. It’s taking everyone’s information, talking to the key people that you rely on in making the best decision for the Lions at the end of the day.”