Lions GM Bob Quinn heads into NFL draft with open mind, endless possibilities

Lions have 6 picks, starting with 20th overall

ALLEN PARK >> With one week until the NFL draft, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn is tweaking the draft board, getting prepared for any circumstance that could happen during the three-day draft extravaganza.

Of course, Quinn isn’t going to spill his guts when it comes to who he might draft at the 20th pick  in the first round or any of his other five draft picks.

“I think  it’s well-rounded, you look across the draft board, there’s good depth at all the positions,’’ Quinn said at his pre-draft press conference on Thursday. “Corner has one really large group of guys you can get a player at any portion of the draft. Receiver is really deep. Offensive line is deep. You can go across the board. I don’t want to single out one or two.

“It’s a good draft, as in many other years there’s a probably a really cream-of-the-crop top group that’s in the 8-12 range, then after that you have to hone in on guys who fit your system. We’ve done a lot of work on and kind of go from there,’’ Quinn added.

Five other thoughts from Quinn on Thursday:

1. In the first round he specifically looks for guys who are playmakers and who are dependable. “You want dependable players in this program. If you’re taking them in the first round they should be good players or I shouldn’t be standing up here,’’ Quinn said. “I think dependability is something that’s really key with durability, ability to learn, competitive nature because you love football, passion. All of the things we talk about on a basis.’’

2. The signing of veteran running back LeGarrette Blount could have some impact on Quinn’s draft picks. “If we had to go play a football game today I think we have enough running backs to be competitive,’’ Quinn said. “Is that saying I’m not going to take one? I don’t know. Tell me who’s going to be on the board in the second, third and fourth round, I don’t know.’’

3. He’s left the door open for trades to gather more picks. “I think we’re going to take it as it comes in the first round, see what’s there in the teens and evaluate what our options are. … I’m always in the business of getting more draft picks, that’s just good for business. The more you get, the more you’re going to hit on,’’ Quinn said. “So if we can acquire more picks that’s something I look forward to. If there’s a player I like at 20 I will have no hesitation to take him.’’ To that end, he’s had some of his people contact other teams this week just to get an idea if they are open to trades in the first round.

4. As in the last two years, he heads into the draft with an open mind. “The way the roster is today I don’t think I’m in position to reach for any position of so-called (need). We’re looking for good football players — big, strong, tough, competitive guys to help us win. I’m not eliminating any position,’’ Quinn said.

5. Players with good character are still the choice no matter the position. “I think it’s always been important and it continues to be so. I think that’s one thing we take very seriously around here,’’ Quinn said. “I think we want to draft good players, we want to draft good people. So far I’d say, for the most part, we’ve done a good job for the last two years doing that and we want to do it again.’’

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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