clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Grading Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn at the 2-year mark

Taking a look at the job Bob Quinn has done as the Lions GM.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We’re officially at the two-year mark of Bob Quinn hiring as the Detroit Lions general manager. Well actually the two year mark was last week on Monday, but who’s counting?

With that in mind, it’s time to take some inventory. It’s time to judge Bob Quinn. We couldn’t do it after one year because we needed to wait for the growing pains to wear off. But now at two years, we can start. Next year it’s open season.

So here’s how I want to do this. We’re going to have a parent-teacher conference. We’re going to have Mr. and Mrs. Quinn come down to the Pride Of Detroit headquarters and we’re going to go beat for beat on Bobby’s report card. Let’s start in free agency.

Free Agency

Thus far, Bob has displayed that he is a buyer in free agency. And the players he’s buying are working out quite well. Marvin Jones Jr. has turned out to be one of the biggest signings of 2016 with big performances in his first two years in Detroit, especially in 2017 when he led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns.

Safety Tavon Wilson has also gone from a role player in New England to a full-fledged starter. In 2017, he went out and got the best right tackle and the best guard available on the market. The addition of Darren Fells at tight end was felt on the offense all season. He’s been a great mentor and has even made big plays at times.

But all those hits can’t cover up some of theses misses. The biggest miss being the addition of no one. Everyone knew that Lions had a dire need for a pass rush. And it’s safe to say that Bob did not adequately do his job in that section. Akeem Spence and Cornelius Washington just did not make a difference for the Lions.

As far as some of the players that Bob did sign that didn’t work out, Paul Worrilow comes to mind first. Worrilow struggled all season long with injuries, and when he wasn’t hurt, he struggled just about everywhere on the field. He wound up starting only half the season. DJ Hayden played well in some games, but then didn’t show up in others. He’s still a guy that can be so much better than he is.

The last bit on free agency are players like Johnson Bademosi, Rafael Bush, Anquan Boldin, and Jeremy Kerley—players that either played well in Detroit and now play well elsewhere or players that couldn’t catch on in Detroit but did elsewhere.

Overall, Bob gets a C+ in free agency. He missed in some big areas. But the players he hit on, he really hit on.


The Draft

It’s pretty clear to me at this point that Bob Quinn can draft him some players. Quinn has drafted five starters in the last two seasons in Jarrad Davis, A’Shawn Robinson, Graham Glasgow, Taylor Decker and Anthony Zettel.

On top of that, he scored big in the third round of 2017’s draft with Kenny Golladay. If the small sample size we got in 2017 is any indication, Golladay is going to be a big deal in the Lions’ future. Let’s also not forget the All-Pro return man Jamal Agnew, who Quinn stole in the fifth round.

Finally, you cap it off with Miles Killebrew, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Michael Roberts, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Joe Dahl. The Lions have a young nucleus of players they can build upon for the future. Of course, we’ll have to see if Bob can make it a hat trick with this years upcoming draft. For now, Bob gets a solid A.



Okay, here’s the thing. I truly believe that Bob’s initial plan was to give Jim Caldwell one year to see how it went before he made his own choice. When the Lions made the playoffs in 2016, Bob kinda found himself hamstrung.

The 2017 season showed why keeping Caldwell wasn’t the best decision, but then again, Bob saved himself with the extension that he gave Caldwell, an extension that put the ball squarely in Jim’s court.

Bob would wind up doing the right thing earlier this month when he dismissed Jim Caldwell, which effectively shows that Bob is not a puppet being controlled by the Ford family, as so many thought that he was, for some reason.

Where Bob wins big is with Matt Patricia. Specifically because this isn’t something that Lions fans are particularly used to. The Lions needed a head coach. There was candidate available that everyone wanted. The Lions are getting that candidate.

Patricia and Quinn worked together in New England and have a relationship with one another, but with rumors that Patricia was thinking about the Giants job, it really shows a lot about Quinn that he was able to go out and get his man. Bob gets a B for this.


Final Grade

Let’s take everything into account here. What Bob has displayed over the past two years is that he is on top of things. Bob has been honest and upfront about his intentions. He intends to build a championship team. We’re a ways off from knowing if that’s something that Bob will wind up doing.

But what we know right now is that Bob building a team with young players that are getting over. In the cases of Marvin Jones and Taylor Decker, they’re becoming stars in the NFL. We also know that Bob is not settling for less. Bob’s firing of Jim Caldwell also proves that he wants to win now and isn’t willing to sit on things and wait for something good to happen.

Because of all of this, Bob should get a B. and he’s earned that B. Now we go into Year 3. This is a big year for Bob to prove that’s completely for real and that the previous two seasons aren’t just a flash in the pan.

Final Grade: B

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.