Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn had a tough task in his first year with the team. Not only was Quinn tasked with building a complete front office that fit his vision for the Lions’ future, but he had to simultaneously prepare for the draft, a mere three months away from his hire date. That’s a tough task for any general manager in the NFL, let alone a first-timer at the position. However, according to NFL’s Bucky Brooks, Quinn absolutely nailed his inaugural draft.
Brooks graded every single team’s draft based on their 2016 production. Obviously, this draft class cannot be fairly graded for another few seasons, but a good return early is typically a good sign for the future. Brooks gave Quinn and the Lions a B+ for the 2016 draft class, the sixth-highest grade in the entire NFL. Here’s part what Brooks had to say about the Lions’ picks (you can read the entire thing here):
Bob Quinn didn't acquire a lot of star power to the roster during his first draft, but he added a handful of blue-collar players who should help the Lions remain in playoff contention for the next few years. Taylor Decker shored up Detroit's biggest offensive weakness with his rock-solid play on the edge. Graham Glasgow also played a key role in solidifying the offensive line as the pivot.
This seems like a fair grade for the Lions’ draft class. Not only was Taylor Decker an extremely successful pick at 16th overall, but eight of the Lions’ 10 picks contributed in their rookie seasons. Even more impressive: Of those eight, seven played in 13 games or more.
Interestingly, the Lions had just the second-best draft in their division. The Bears hit big on their selections of OL Cody Whitehair (second round) and RB Jordan Howard (fifth round) in addition to promising defensive talent in Leonard Floyd and Nick Kwiatkoski.
That being said, both the Packers and Vikings had some of the worst drafts according to Brooks. Perhaps the NFC North is due for a shakeup in the next few years.