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Bob Quinn post-draft press conference transcript

Bob Quinn spoke about his draft strategy and why he made the selections he did.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Quinn spoke with the media Saturday night after the final round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Below is the transcript (obtained via the Detroit Lions). You can watch the press conference in its entirety here.

Opening Statement: "Well, I think we had a very productive third day of the draft with acquiring seven new players for the Lions. Starting off with a couple of the guys, (Miles) Killebrew, Joe Dahl, Antwione Williams, Jake Rudock, Anthony Zettel, Jimmy Landes and Dwayne Washington. Really well-rounded group, put a lot of time and energy into all of these guys and really felt, at the end of the day when we finished picking that we improved the football team, improved the depth of the team and improved the competition of the team and that was our goal going into it. So, right now a lot of the coaches and scouts and myself, we’re still working on some of the rookie free agent process, which will go on here for the next couple hours. Nothing to confirm on any of those, I won’t confirm any of the signings until Thursday when we actually sign the actual contracts. So, I know there’s some stuff out there, but I’m not going to comment or confirm any of those things you might have seen."

On if it was a goal to get bigger and stronger up front: "Absolutely, that was one of my goals going into the draft and I felt like there was a lot of players at different levels of the draft that we could do that. So, it was a goal of mine, it was a goal of Coach Caldwell’s and I think we followed through on that."

On if position versatility was something he was looking for with each pick: "Yeah, I think that’s, when we do the evaluation process it’s important to not only look at the player and what position they play in college, but have they played a position previously in their sophomore, their freshman year? And when you’re projecting to the NFL, can they play a different position? As we know, we can only dress 46 players, so every roster spot that we bring to the game is vitally important. So, if a guy can play more than one spot, it adds to his value."

On the logic of drafting a long snapper in the sixth round: "We did a lot of work on all the long snappers like we do every year and we felt like he would be a guy that would be able to come in and compete for a spot and the value was right at the right time."

On what that means for LS Don Muhlbach’s future: "It means Don’s going to have someone to compete with this year."

On what the team plans to do with LB Stephen Tulloch now that the draft is over: "I have no update on Stephen Tulloch."

On if he had planned to draft a quarterback all along: "Yeah, I mean I think I’ve said it before, I think it’s good football business to take a quarterback probably every other year, depending on who you have on your roster. So, I thought the value at that pick, I think it was at 191, I think that value was right for Jake (Rudock) and Jake’s a local kid that played at Michigan, came from Iowa. We had him in here for our local pro day, so we got an up close and personal look at him and felt that he would add really good competition to the quarterback room."

On if the team has decided whether they will carry two or three quarterbacks on the roster: "Yeah, that’s a discussion for August and September. Jim (Caldwell) and I really even haven’t gone that far yet."

On if he has a preference for the number of quarterbacks on the roster: "I don’t have a preference. I do not."

On what he liked about QB Jake Rudock: "I thought he was extremely smart. I thought he was very composed. I thought he was very accurate. He played in a pro-style system, which was good to see and I thought he had a really good workout for us here a couple weeks back."

On if he was with the Patriots when they drafted QB Tom Brady: "Yeah, I was like in my first four months, so I didn’t even know like, like I knew where the coffee machine was. So, I know there’s a little parallel there, but I mean, this isn’t the same conversation."

On if any of his staff promised DT Vernon Butler that he would be selected by the Lions in the first round: "No one from my staff or our coaching staff has ever promised a player that we’re going to take him at any position."

On if he was in the room when S Miles Killebrew was told by coaches he wasn’t a fit for the Lions: "I was not in that room."

On if that is a strategy the coaches use to rattle potential draft picks: "I think every coach kind of has a different philosophy when you meet with these kids. Picture yourself going in for an interview at ESPN or CNN, SI, wherever and you meet with the boss of that company and you never know what’s going to come out of their mouth, right? You prepare for the interview and like, you think you’re ready, so if you throw a little curveball sometimes you kind of get the true person coming out with the answer. So, I don’t tell the coaches what to ask. I just kind of tell them, get a feel for the player as a person, does the guy fit in the locker room well and is he smart enough to learn our systems? And report back to me."

On if he has projections for what positions DT Anthony Zettel and OL Joe Dahl will play: "Yup, I think Zettel has versatility. I think he played defensive tackle for Penn State, which he’s a little bit undersized to play defensive tackle, so I think he’ll probably play both positions for us. We’re going to put him out there, probably start him at defensive end, but you know, we’re going to use multiple fronts this year like we always have. Wherever he fits, that’s one of his key characteristics is his versatility and one of the reasons why we took him."

On not making any trades and the dynamics going into that decision: "Yeah, that’s a hard thing to juggle because the phone rings all the time and you have to evaluate what you have on the board. So, you’re looking at your players and guys that you like and then you have a call and you’re like, ‘Well, if I trade back, you know, I got three guys I like here in this cluster. If I trade back and lose all three of them, then that’s not really a good trade for me.’ So, we had a lot of conversations, both, ‘Do you want to come up, do you want to come down?’ I was on the phone a lot with a lot of different teams and in the end just none of them made sense this year. Sometimes they all make sense and you make a lot of them and this year, for me, it just didn’t work out."

On if S Miles Killebrew could be considered a hybrid safety/linebacker position: "Yeah, I mean, we’re really not looking for the linebacker/safety hybrid. We’re just looking for good defensive backs and linebackers. Now, we’re going to be in sub defense, nickel defense for close to 70-percent of the time, so to get a guy that’s this size, that can run as fast as he can run, you know, hopefully he can have a role covering tight ends. But in our base defense, he’s not going to be a linebacker."

On LB Antwione Williams’ experience playing all three linebacker positions: "Whatever position he fits in best. I think he does have versatility. He’s probably not a MIKE, he’s probably more a SAM or a WILL. But really, our off-the-line-of-scrimmage linebackers, they’re very similar at the end of the day, so he’ll compete at all three spots."

On his approach to height when it comes to evaluating offensive linemen: "I’d say offensive line and defensive line, the bigger the better."

On OL Joe Dahl’s capability of playing multiple positions: "Yeah, I mean, I think Joe’s a guy that’s played a lot of tackle. I think he does have position flex to play guard as well. We’re not sold – we didn’t draft him as one or the other. We drafted him as a versatile offensive lineman that’s going to come in and compete at both spots. He’s not going to play center, so you guys can write that down. But I think, you know, we have guys on our roster that are really one-position players as I came in here and now adding guys like Graham (Glasgow) and Joe (Dahl) and Taylor (Decker) can play both sides. I think we have guys that can play multiple spots. Like I said at the beginning, when we have to dress 46 players, the more versatile the guys are, the better chance they’re going to be on the team."

On the ceiling for Rudock: "Yeah, we looked at the draft and we had those quarterbacks, I know the ones you’re talking about. They started going right after we took Jake – (Jeff) Driskel and (Brandon) Allen, those guys. Like, those guys were all on our board and we had Jake obviously ahead of him because we took him first. I thought when I sat down with Jake I really saw a passionate football guy that is very smart, very attentive. I really think the bottom line is, when we worked him out I really came away impressed about how he threw the ball. The big thing about the evaluation of the quarterback position is it’s one of the hardest things for scouts and coaches to evaluate arm strength on film. I mean, Matthew Stafford on film, like, you can see he’s got a great arm. Some of these college quarterbacks, and we tell our college scouts this, if you’re going to put a draftable grade or a make-it level grade on a quarterback, I want you to see the guy live in game. The arm strength really is very crucial to see live. In tape, you can see it, you know, is it really good? Is it good enough? There’s a lot of wiggle room there, so I think that’s kind of what sold me in the end was the workout that we had."

On if the team has picked up DE Ezekiel Ansah’s fifth-year option and when he plans to make changes to his scouting staff: "We have not picked up Ziggy’s option. I’ll have an update on that for you in a few days. The scouting staff, you know, we’re still in the evaluation process, so I really have no updates on that as well."

On Rudock’s experience in a pro-style system: "I think, you know, college football nowadays, there’s a lot of quarterbacks that never go under center. So, to take a quarterback from a system like that, you really have to teach him how to take the ball from a center, take a drop back, look at the field while moving back. It’s a big transition for a lot of these guys. So, to answer your question, yes, it does factor in and helped his cause."

On building a versatile team to play anywhere: "We talk about it a lot. We’re not building an indoor football team. I mean, I know we’re playing 13 of our 16 games inside this year. That’s not how we’re building our team. This team, you know, goes through the NFC North and we’re going to have to play in cold weather against good teams late in the season, so we’re building a team for all conditions."

On his expectations for Williams: "Good size, good speed, athletic, good instincts. I’d say, we watched the film and when you watch that level of football, you really want the player to jump out, like he’s dominating that level of competition. I thought he played very well at that level of competition and we really thought it would translate to our league to watch him on special teams, on defense. He’s a versatile guy. He can blitz, he can cover, he can play the run, so at the end of the day we thought he was a good player to add."