Bob Quinn has been a disaster of a General Manager for the Detroit Lions: a year-by-year breakdown of how Bob Quinn has ruined this team
People that have been on this sub for awhile probably know me as the guy who used to post memes nonstop. Due to a variety of real-life factors (law school) and on-field factors (the absolute embarrassment of a team that Detroit fields on a weekly basis), my enthusiasm for the memes has waned – but I still watch, read about, and otherwise follow the Lions religiously. If any of you guys remember, I have been HIGHLY critical of Bob Quinn during his tenure as general manager – this has not always been a popular opinion but, as I have now turned off the television after watching Dalvin Cook run untouched for a 70-yard TD against ten men on the field, I’ve decided enough is enough. Most people want Patricia gone, and rightfully so, but I’ve seen a number of comments talking about “not minding” Bob Quinn and saying that he’s done an “okay job” - so I’ve decided to analyze Bob Quinn’s draft picks, major FA signings, and general philosophy in one single post. My ultimate goal is to show you that Bob Quinn has been an unmitigated disaster for this team – a man whose tenure has been so horrific that not only have we performed worse in every successive season he’s been the GM, but we’re also left ill-prepared for the (hopefully) post Bob Quinn era. Let’s go year by year.
Major FA Signings
Marvin Jones – brought in after the unexpected retirement of Calvin Johnson, Marv arrived and made an immediate impact. This was a very good signing that has paid dividends for almost 5 years now – in my opinion, it’s the best of the BQ era. It was also the only notable signing in 2016. (Grade: A)
Taylor Decker – Decker has had an up and down career up until this point. He’s had some injuries and inconsistent play but, for the most part, has been really good. He was recently signed to a big extension and I’m happy to have him around long term. (Grade: A-)
A’Shawn Robinson – His performance ranged from pretty good to mediocre at best during his time in Detroit. Did not get a second contract with the Lions. (Grade: B-)
Graham Glasgow – in my opinion, one of the best picks BQ has made. The hometown kid who started day 1 and was a solid guard option during his tenure here. The pick itself was really good, and I’m grading ONLY the pick and not what ended up happening with him afterwards which we’ll discuss later on. (Grade: B+)
Miles Killebrew – still contributes on special teams, which is nice, and has returned medium-level value in that department. Had one pick 6 but not much of a defensive presence otherwise. (Grade: B)
Joe Dahl – an average at best player whose most valuable trait has been his versatility. Really good value in round 5. (Grade: B+)
The rest – Anthony Zettel was a decent player for a while and we took a long snapper (LOL) who didn’t make the team. BQ also took Jake Rudock out of Michigan, stating that “it’s good business to draft a young QB every year or every other year”. This philosophy, that Bob Quinn has since abandoned in favor of signing washed up vets to bloated deals, is one I totally agree with. Shame he didn’t stick to it.
Overall this was actually a good draft! Lots of great value and contributors that are still on the team today. The Marvin Jones signing + this strong draft would combine with a brilliant year from Matthew Stafford to get us to wildcard weekend. We lost to Seattle, of course, but look at the stellar draft and great FA signings we made! We’re on the right track, right? Now we just need to upgrade the backfield, because Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are now on years 3 and 4 of YPCs under 2.5, and boost the offensive line. Maybe some pass rush help? Next year is going to be great. I’d give this draft an A-.
Major FA Signings
Rick Wagner – with Rielly Reiff and Larry Warford out the door, BQ decided to invest heavy resources in the offensive line. He signed Rick Wagner to the biggest RT contract in the league to kick off his rebuild of this group. Wagner, at his absolute best in Detroit, was average. At his worst, which was much more frequent, his bloated contract hurt the Lions badly. (Grade: D)
TJ Lang – I love TJ as a person, as all lions fans do, but there’s a reason Green Bay let him walk. His pro bowl appearance as a Lion was earned on name-recognition alone and does not reflect his play. Injured for most of his tenure, this was another disaster signing. (Grade: D)
This class cost us tons of cap space over multiple years and was a masterclass on how not to build an offensive line. I’d give this FA Period a D-.
Trigger Warning – The Draft
Jarrad Davis – to say that Davis has been anything short of an utter failure is disingenuous. With T.J. Watt and Dalvin Cook, eventual all pros at massive positions of need, on the board – Bob Quinn takes the linebacker out of Florida. The Lions did not pick up Jarrad Davis’ 5th year option this year. The fact that we’re struggling to find playing time for him 4 years into his career, when we have the worst linebacking corps in the NFL, should tell you all you need to know. (Grade: F)
Teez Tabor - (Grade: A+)
Kenny Golladay – the absolute, hands down, best pick Bob Quinn has ever made. Just an absolute star in every sense of the word – Golladay will likely go down as one of the 3-4 most talented receivers the Lions have ever had. Recently had a conversation with my dad, a life long lions fan, who thinks Golladay can be just as good as Herman Moore was. Just a beast whose only concerns are his age and his hamstrings. (Grade: A+)
Jalen Reeves Maybin – Depth (Grade: C+)
Michael Roberts – while it might not have seemed like it at first glance, this pick is a microcosm of what the Bob Quinn era has been defined by: a mistake that compounds to put us in a hole later on. I wanted George Kittle, you wanted George Kittle, this whole sub was talking about wanting George Kittle … the entire world knew that the high upside tight end out of Iowa would probably be a good pick for a team with needs at the position – so what does Bob Quinn do? The smartest man in the room takes Michael Roberts out of Toledo. He knew we needed a tight end. He picked the wrong one. Michael Roberts is no longer in the NFL while George Kittle just led the 49ers to a super bowl appearance. (Grade: F)
Jamal Agnew – an electric returner and not much else. Cool that he got an all pro … hey, are we going to pick a running back soon? (Grade: B+)
The rest – Brad Kayaa lasted one preseason, it would also be the last time Bob Quinn picks a QB. Pat O’Connor looks like Aquaman.
This draft alone should be a fireable offense. Jarrad Davis over Watt and Cook set this franchise back YEARS. Teez Tabor, who Bob Quinn proudly stated he had watched more film on than any other prospect in his career, was not an NFL-caliber player. No return on a second-round pick is inexcusable.
Michael Roberts might only have been a 4th round pick, but he was the single worst decision Bob Quinn has ever made. Yes, Roberts is worse than Tabor, Wagner, Davis, Lang, Vaitai, James, etc. Bob Quinn looked at Michael Roberts and decided he was a better player than George Kittle. He KNEW we needed a tight end and his evaluation led him to pick Roberts. His failure to secure the future all pro would not only hurt us because we DIDN’T get Kittle, but it forced a massive OVERCORRECTION later on with a certain 8th overall pick.
Speaking of overcorrections, how about the eventual scramble to find a franchise RB after failing to take one here?
Here’s a list of the RBs drafted in the Lions’ range, so excluding CMC and Fournette, that Bob Quinn passed on: Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, James Conner, Tarik Cohen, Wayne Gallman, Marlon Mack, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson.
Every single one of these running backs, every single one, would likely still be our primary back today. With the exception of Wayne Gallman, who STILL would have been better than Abdullah, ALL of these RBs are either superstars, stars, or have flirted with star status. This failure to take even ONE of these running backs, the arrogance to stick with Abdullah/Riddick while throwing away picks on Tabor, Roberts, Reeves-Maybin, etc, is incompetence to such a severe degree that that I’m left to ponder Bob Quinn’s mental health. This is so inexcusable, so absolutely mind-boggling, that we’re STILL feeling the effects of this choice in late 2020. Let’s say we take Kamara instead of Tabor or Cook over Davis – what does the Kerryon Johnson pick get replaced with? D’Andre Swift? Do we get actual CONTRIBUTERS in the second rounds of these drafts rather than desperately try to patch up the haunting mistakes of 2017?
With Kenny Golladay, and to an indescribably lesser extent Jamal Agnew, the only bright spots here – this draft is absolute nightmare fuel. I would give it a D- overall.
The Lions would go 9-7 again but fail to make the playoffs, performing worse than the year prior, and parted ways with Jim Caldwell. Was firing Caldwell the right choice? Yes. He was not a good coach, and we often won in SPITE of his poor game management rather than because of it. 9-7 was NOT good enough on a consistent basis. Did we replace him with the right guy? No, obviously not – but that’s a discussion for another day.
Major FA Signings
Christian Jones – the quintessential Quinntricia linebacker. Big, slow, overpaid, and not good at anything. Still a starter for us for some reason. (Grade: D)
Devon Kennard – had flashes of good play but overall made no big difference for us in the long run. (Grade: B-)
Kenny Wiggins – garbage, not even useful as depth. (Grade: C-)
LeGarrette Blount – fat. (Grade: D)
This class is pathetically weak and has made no positive impact on the team - Grade D.
Frank Ragnow - the second-best pick Bob Quinn has ever made. A pro-bowl caliber C in the late first round is terrific value. He’ll hopefully be a Lion for a very long time. (Grade: A+)
Kerryon Johnson – we all love Kerryon, but this was a disaster of a pick. We traded UP to pick an injury prone, decent running back in a spot where good organizations take FRANCHISE level running backs. If this pick had worked out, D’Andre Swift wouldn’t be on this team right now. Terrible management of valuable assets here. (Grade: D)
Tracy Walker – was tremendous as a rookie and very good as a sophomore but has since, unfortunately, slowly regressed. Good value at this spot but still not the star we like to pretend he is. (Grade: B+)
Da’Shawn Hand – EXTREMELY talented player but tough to evaluate because he’s literally always injured. This grade could be a D if he washes out due to injuries and an A if he gets healthy consistently, but the jury is still out as of now. (Grade: N/A)
Tyrell Crosby – Good value in the 5th (Grade: B+)
Nick Bawden – never really played, was always hurt (Grade: D)
This was overall an average at best draft – a stud at the top and contributors later are offset by a big miss after a round 2 trade up. The fact that THIS is the return from arguably BQ’s best class, which I would give a B- overall, is just plainly and simply not good enough. Bob Quinn also traded a 6th for Greg Robinson (LOL).
Year 1 with Patricia was a disaster after finishing 6-10, but fans were assured that Quinntricia just needed to execute “their vision” and things would turn around. Let’s see what the magnificent Robert Quinn has in store for us now.
Major FA Signings
Trey Flowers – Trey is, in my opinion, a dominant player surrounded by trash in a putrid scheme. I genuinely feel bad watching him generate pressure and seal the edge every week only to be let down by the maggots around him. You’d like to see more sacks out of a player being paid like a top pass rusher, but he’s more of an all-around defender than a pure burner off the edge. Good signing as he’s still young and is a foundational piece. (Grade: A-)
Danny Amendola – just no longer a reliable option. Frequent drops and a lack of burst means that he’s not the player he once was, but he’s a washed-up former patriot so it’s no surprise he wound up here. (Grade: C)
Justin Coleman – was absolutely transcendent, like I’m talking all-pro level, in the first half of 2019. Has since regressed to average/below average level of play. As the highest paid slot corner in the NFL, this is terrible return on investment if his play doesn’t improve. (Grade: C+)
Oday Aboushi – fat. (Grade: D)
Jesse James - words cannot begin to describe the stupidity of signing a backup-level tight end to a big deal only for him to fail miserably as blocker while racking up less than 20 catches in his career here. Just a miserable, miserable, miserable signing. (Grade: F)
CJ Anderson – fat. (Grade: D)
Aside from Flowers, this class was another disaster. Bob Quinn loves to hoard cap space so that he can waste it later on bums like these. Overall grade C. Let’s see if he’ll address our massive needs (coverage LB, WR2 of the future, pass rush or overall D Line help) in the draft.
T.J. Hockenson – this one is tough. You probably can’t find a Lions fan that doesn’t like Hock, or at least can’t acknowledge that he’s playing like a top 5 tight end this year and is really really really good, but this is still a challenging pick to justify. In order for a TE at 8th overall to be worth it, he needs to be the best tight end in the NFL, or close to it, very quickly. Brian Burns or Devin Bush would likely have made a bigger impact on this team than T.J. has thus far so, while I remain hopeful, this has yet to prove itself to be a good selection. (Grade: C+ / B-)
Jahlani Tavai – I’ll never forget sitting in my basement watching day 2 of the 2019 draft with my dad and my friends. As the Lions’ pick approached, I was SCREAMING for DK Metcalf. There are concerns about his route running, but Marv and Danny won’t be here much longer and DK could be a great compliment to Golladay if he could channel his physical gifts into consistent play on the field. His selection here would have really solved our impending WR problem – so naturally we choose the Second Team All-Mountain West legend instead: Jahlani Tavai. Every time I see DK dominate on Sunday Night Football after watching Tavai flounder around the field the whole afternoon earlier that day, I remember my dad walking away from the TV on draft night muttering “Hawaii … Hawaii …” to himself in disbelief. (Grade: F)
Will Harris – absolutely useless safety out of Boston College. Bob Quinn traded Quandre Diggs because he thought this guy would take over that role. Every time I see #25 he’s either 4 steps behind his man or missing a tackle. (Grade: F).
Austin Bryant – Blocked a punt once (Grade: C-)
Amani Oruwariye – easily the best pick of this draft, as I would have been happy with him in the second, and he’s performed admirably thus far. The only disturbing part of this pick is that, in his post draft presser, Bob Quinn said they were having “internal discussions” about taking him as early as round 4 but decided to wait on it. That’s right, we picked AUSTIN BRYANT over Amani who could have easily been scooped up before we picked again in the 5th. If this gamble hadn’t have paid off, this class would be 2017 levels of bad. (Grade: A, despite Bob’s best efforts to exercise his shit judgement again)
Travis Fulgham – is a star for the Eagles now, I want to die. (Grade: A for Philadelphia, F for Detroit)
Ty Johnson – cool hair (Grade: C+)
Isaac Nauta – another tight end, dope (Grade: C+)
The best player in this class relative to where they were taken is Oruwariye, thereby continuing the trend of Bob Quinn setting this team back by whiffing hard in the early rounds. Overall grade C-.
This was a terrific season for Detroit Lions fans. Darius Slay was dealt and the great “vision” of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia culminated in an impressive three win campaign. Very fun, thank you Bob!
Major FA Signings *I will be grading these “so far” as the season isn’t over
Hal Vaitai – so we let Glasgow walk because, apparently, he was asking for more than Bob Quinn was willing to pay for a homegrown foundational guard. Was letting Glasgow walk a decent move? I don’t know, he’s been alright for Denver but maybe not quite as good as what he’s been paid. It was a prudent, cap saving decision … that was immediately invalidated by throwing FIFTY MILLION over FIVE YEARS at this absolute dumpster of a tackle. I cannot believe how much money we’re paying to the equivalent of a real life 65 overall. (Grade so far: F)
Duron Harmon – solid but old (Grade so far: B)
Jamie Collins – the best linebacker we’ve had in the Bob Quinn era and he’s just “pretty good”. Thank you, Bob! (Grade so far: B)
Danny Shelton – fat. (Grade so far: C+)
Nick Williams – depth (Grade so far: C+)
Chase Daniel – do you know why I hated this signing so much? Because Bob Quinn, in his own words, said that drafting a developmental QB once every year or two is good business. He was absolutely right. If Stafford goes down, the season is 99.99% over anyways, so why not be able to throw out a 22-year-old to see what you’ve got? David Blough amounted to nothing, but that bomb to KG on thanksgiving is one of my favorite Lions memories ever. I can’t for the life of me understand giving a decent contract to a washed-up vet when you could give your fanbase a sliver of hope that they may have stumbled onto a miracle by keeping a young QB on the roster. If you’re going to make the argument that you need a vet in the QB room to help Stafford, you can certainly get one cheaper than this. (Grade so far: F)
Desmond Trufant – has barely played, has been putrid when he has. Sick Darius Slay replacement, Bob. (Grade so far: D)
Jayron Kearse – actually fun to watch, better than Harris (Grade so far: B+)
Reggie Ragland – a below average player who, in my opinion, is the second-best LB on the roster. What an indictment of the defense Bob has built. (Grade so far: B-)
Adrian Peterson – was nice to see some humanity on Bob Quinn’s part here. He didn’t have to go out and sign Darrell Bevell’s husband, especially when the Washington Football team decided to cut him because they’d rather roll with their stud rookie (imagine that), but he did. Really love to see this move from Bob. It has paid dividends this year big time – especially on 4th and 1 situations. (Grade so far: God tier)
Jeff Okudah – Bob Quinn coming out and saying there was no way we were taking a QB really hurt this team on draft night. In a make-or-break year for Quinntricia, we all knew they weren’t going to draft for the future and take Tua or Herbert … but would it have hurt to put a smokescreen out there and help yourself to get a trade down? Okudah has had ups and downs this year, mostly downs if we’re being honest, and so far is not playing anywhere close to third overall pick value. There’s a reason corners don’t go this high and, unless Jeff rises to top 3 at his position, this was a bad pick. (Grade so far: not looking great, but I’m hopeful).
D’Andre Swift – this was the first time, I am not kidding you, that the Lions picked a player I wanted at a spot I wanted them in the draft during the BQ era. Swift is explosive, agile, elusive, and is a mismatch for linebackers wherever he lines up. I don’t care about the drop against the bears because 1) we should not have been in that position in the first place and 2) he’s since shown that he can catch out of the backfield and be highly effective doing so. I’ve watched Kamara and CMC drop passes too … D’Andre’s just came at a horrible time. The problem with this pick, though, is his role so far. When you pick a running back at the top of the second round, the expectation should be that they’re franchise level at their position. Drafting D’Andre at this spot is only justified if he becomes a star featured back – anything else and it’s another horrible waste of a premium pick. (Grade so far: A- for talent, D- for how he’s being used)
Julian Okwara – has not contributed. Even when healthy has been scratched. (Grade so far: not looking great but hopefully can turn it around)
Jonah Jackson – stud. 10-year mainstay on the offensive line. Terrific value (Grade so far: A)
The rest – John Penisini was a good pick, everyone else is meh. Hopefully Cephus turns into something but the fact that he hasn’t done much in a decimated receiving corps is alarming. Overall grade so far would be a B-, but if Okudah doesn’t improve dramatically, this is another dud draft with only Swift (hopefully) and Jackson keeping it afloat.
If I had to pick one main issue with Bob Quinn’s tenure, it’s that this team is NOT better than the one he inherited. The only position groups you could say tops any of Mayhew’s teams would be the Tight Ends and Running Backs while everything else is either a wash or a downgrade. Stafford has regressed, the receiving corps is razor thin and could be nonexistent next year if Golladay walks, the D line is absolutely pathetic outside of Flowers, the linebacking corps is easily the worst in the NFL, the secondary is average at best, the offensive line has had infinite resources poured into it and is still only performing in MAYBE top 15 range.
In the draft, Quinn has hit on a few early picks (Decker, Ragnow) but has whiffed on even more that have badly hurt this team (Davis, Tabor, Tavai, Harris, Johnson). He’s uncovered some definite gems later on (Golladay, Oruwariye), but has also had disastrous picks with ripple-effect consequences (Michael Roberts) that would lead to questionable decisions down the line (Hockenson). His stubbornness in sticking with Ameer Abdullah led to, in my opinion, the worst offense in his tenure (not picking a single RB in 2017) and lead to massive overcorrection later whereby he used premium assets to try to rectify his mistakes (Kerryon, Swift). His lack of ability to identify and obtain talented linebackers in favor of awful ones (Davis, Tavai, JRM) and his complete neglect of the defensive line (only notable picks being Robinson, Okwara, and Bryant) have combined to give us the worst front 7 in the entire NFL. Further negligence of the WR corps (only notable picks being Golladay, Fulgham, and Cephus) has put us in a bad situation there too moving forward.
Overall, Quinn has proven to be a poor drafter at best. A few dazzling selections in the later rounds do not compensate for the misses early, and a severe lack of star power (Quinn has yet to draft a pro-bowler who wasn’t an injury alternate even though he’s had five drafts) is actually shocking – ZERO standard pro bowlers in five drafts is actually HARD to do. The incompetence is somewhat impressive. When you look at teams like the Colts, Ravens, Chiefs, Steelers, or Seahawks, who have consistently hit on draft picks by focusing on bringing in high-level athletes with speed and playmaking ability, you’ll notice that the players their GMs choose contrast with what Bob Quinn usually chooses: below-average athletes who are big and slow who project to have a high floor.
In free agency, Quinn has proven to be an absolute disaster. His best signing (Marvin Jones) was FIVE years ago, and his second-best signing (Trey Flowers) is hamstrung by the bad pieces Bob has put around him (Shelton, Williams, Jones). His over-reliance on former patriots on defense (Coleman, Collins, Harmon) has led to a lack of identity and upside for the unit as a whole, and his terrible management of the offensive line (Vaitai, Wagner, Lang) is a fireable offense in itself. His propensity to hand out bloated contracts to backup-level players (James, Vaitai) will present a problem for the team’s cap situation moving forward, and his insistence on signing over-the-hill running backs (Anderson, Blount, Peterson) has continued to impede the development of their younger counterparts (Swift, Kerryon).
After five years of Bob Quinn, the Lions are left with:
-An aging QB that has regressed
-A front 7 that is arguably the worst in the NFL
-A middling offensive line
-A thin secondary
-A barren receiver room
-A bad coaching staff
-A cap situation that needs to be figured out
-A mediocre record
After analyzing every major move that Bob has made, it is not only abundantly clear that he should be fired, but he may have been the single worst GM in the NFL during this five-year span. A poor drafter and an even worse free agent evaluator, Bob Quinn has put on a masterclass of how NOT to build a roster here in Detroit.
We’re tired of it.
submitted by ChefCurrySauce