The 2009 NFL Draft was one that Detroit Lions fans will remember forever. It’s the year that Matthew Stafford was drafted first overall, and it was the beginning of the era in which the Lions pulled themselves out of the basement of the league.
The rest of the draft that year wasn’t all that impressive, to be frank. Nine years later, of all 256 players drafted, only 26 have made a Pro Bowl, including just one top 10 draft pick other than Stafford (B.J. Raji).
But way down at pick No. 112 in the fourth round of the draft, one of the best players of the entire class was taken by the Houston Texans: free safety Glover Quin. Though the Texans would fail to sign Quin to a second contract, the defensive back out of New Mexico would go on to have a prolific career in Detroit, and according to Pro Football Focus, he outplayed nearly his entire draft class in 2017:
The highest graded ninth year players in the NFL last season! pic.twitter.com/LKootkXC6W— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 27, 2018
The lone person who outplayed Quin by PFF’s standards—Buccaneers’ defensive end Robert Ayers—was taken 18th overall in that draft, and oddly had a pretty lowkey season in 2017. He only managed 31 tackles, 2.0 sacks in 12 games while struggling through injury. He was released by the Bucs earlier this offseason and remains a free agent.
Quin, on the other hand, has been playing at a high level for the Lions ever since signing with the team in 2013. He led the league in interceptions in 2014, leading to his one and only Pro Bowl performance. He forced seven turnovers last year, including a pick-six against the Falcons. And he’s been one of the biggest defensive leaders in the locker room. It’s nice to see one of the most underappreciated players in the league finally get some recognition.