The NFL Draft War Room is a sacred place that we rarely get to see inside. However, teams have been a little more open lately in presenting the moments their front offices make significant choices.
This year is no exception, and the Detroit Lions provided this video inside the Lions war room as they made their first-round selection of T.J. Hockenson. Take a look:
"Hey T.J., want to be a Lion?"— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 26, 2019
The that made @TheeHOCK8 a pic.twitter.com/4NLi2XwwWi
As was the case with last year’s first-round pick Frank Ragnow, Quinn revealed that the team did not have a lot of pre-draft contact with their selection in order to throw other teams off.
“I know we haven’t had a lot of communication with you,” Quinn told Hockenson. “We did that on purpose because we really liked you.”
He also let Hockenson know why the Lions value him so much.
“We have a really good offense, and we need a guy like you to kind of complete it,” Quinn said.
Quinn also revealed that he had conversations with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz as recent as Wednesday night to confirm that the Lions should be interested. That should come as little surprise, as Ferentz has deep ties to the Bill Belichick tree; he’s a voice Quinn trusts.
But perhaps the most enlightening part of the video above comes after the phone is hung up, and the draft room falls silent. Matt Patricia then addresses the room.
“He’s the right guy,” Patricia says, almost muttering to himself. “Congratulations, Mrs. Ford. Congratulations, everybody. He’s everything that we want in terms of culture fit, great player, hard worker, tough guy. Everything that we’re going to want to build this program around.”
The rest is a fascinating look at the facial reactions of Quinn and Patricia as they watch analysts react to their pick and occasionally give each other a smile. The cherry on top is the draft room chittering in laughter as they watch Hockenson plant a defender into the ground on NFL Network’s highlight reel.