Bob Quinn has made 43 selection over his five years as the Detroit Lions general manager. The bat-wielding GM took over in 2016, and has since attempted to drag a team that was once a mainstay in the top 10 of the draft into title contention.
The team has not quite met expectations yet under Quinn, though he has certainly made some great moves during his time in charge. He has also made some absolutely abysmal moves. We will be talking a lot about the latter today.
Over the next week, I will be ranking every one of Quinn’s 34 draft selections pre-2020. I am excluding the most recent draft as it is unfair to grade players who have not played a snap yet.
This will not be a top-to-bottom list of how well each player has played, though. The value of each pick—how great of a player Detroit got relative to the expected level you would expect from a player selected their—will be a huge factor as well.
Today, we start at the bottom and rank the nine worst selections Quinn has made in the draft.
34. Jimmy Landes
2016 sixth-round pick, 210th overall — Long Snapper — Baylor
Quinn selected a long snapper in the 2016 NFL Draft. Not even in the seventh round, but the sixth. While the new GM may have been attempting to send a message to the locker room with this pick—showing that even longtime long snapper Don Muhlbach wasn’t even safe—it just feels like a waste. Sixth-round picks are a lottery ticket, and Quinn set this ticket on fire.
Landes failed to win the job in camp. He missed the 53-man roster and never featured in the NFL.
Games played: 0 for the Lions (0 in NFL)
Currently: Out of the NFL
33. Teez Tabor
2017 second-round pick, 53rd overall — Cornerback — Florida
Quinn’s most infamous pick came in 2017 when he selected cornerback Teez Tabor in the second round. The corner had an awful combine, and despite great play at Florida, many doubted he had the natural tools to succeed at the next level.
He clearly did not. The corner failed to ever earn a regular role in the defensive lineup, even when the Lions secondary was among the worst in the league. When he did play, he just could not keep up with NFL receivers. Tabor was a backup for two years before the team finally decided to move on before the 2019 season.
The selection of Tabor seems to have set the team back a bit. They not only lost a second-round pick but also had built their team assuming they had a CB2 of the future on the roster — which they clearly never had.
Games played: 5 for Lions (5 in NFL)
Currently: Featured on the San Francisco 49ers 2019 Practice Squad, currently on their 90-man roster
32. Michael Roberts
2017 Fourth-round pick, 127th overall — Tight End — Toledo
There was a lot of excitement around Michael Roberts when he was selected by the Lions in 2017. The tight end made a name for himself at nearby Toledo, and many were hoping that the big-bodied tight end could fill an Anquan Boldin-type red zone role for Detroit.
Roberts’ career could never get off the ground, though. He was a non-factor in his rookie season. He was only targeted seven times in the 15 games that he played—catching 4 passes. In 2018, he finally showed some of his potential as a red zone threat, catching three touchdown passes.
The tight end’s career in Detroit came to an end in 2019 when he failed to make the 53-man roster. After a few days with Green Bay last offseason, he was waived due to a failed physical. He missed out on the 2019 season entirely, though the Miami Dolphins did give him a chance to revive his career by adding him to their 90-man offseason roster.
Games played: 23 played for Lions (23 in NFL)
Currently: With Miami Dolphins
31. Brad Kaaya
2017 sixth-round pick, 215th overall — Quarterback — Miami
Brad Kaaya even falling to the Lions in the sixth round seemed like a near impossible scenario when he first took over the starting role for the Miami Hurricanes. He was widely regarded as a top prospect, and some even considered him a potential top overall pick in the draft.
Instead, Kaaya fell to the sixth and was drafted by the Lions as a potential developmental pick to learn behind Matthew Stafford. He failed to win the backup job from Jake Rudock, though, and missed the 53-man roster.
Kaaya ended up returning to the Lions for a small stint, though he almost instantly ended up on the practice squad. He also had stints with the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts. Kaaya never featured for any of the teams on the field though. It seems that his attempt at an NFL career is over.
Games played: 0 for Lions (0 in NFL)
Currently: Out of NFL
30. Travis Fulgham
2019 sixth-round pick, 184th overall — Wide Receiver — Old Dominion
Travis Fulgham became the first ever offensive player drafted out of Old Dominion University when the Detroit Lions selected him in the sixth round. The wide receiver made a name for himself in Norfolk as a big target with good speed, and could definitely bring a different dimension to the Lions offense.
The receiver made the team's initial 53-man roster in 2019, but was quickly waived a few weeks later. He spent much of his rookie year on the practice squad before finally being promoted to the active roster late in the season.
Fulgham featured in three games for Detroit in 2019, but never was targeted for a pass. While he remains with the team through the offseason, he is a longshot to make the roster once again in 2020.
Games played: 3 for Lions (3 in NFL)
Currently: With the Lions
29. Austin Bryant
2019 fourth-round pick, 117th overall — Defensive End — Clemson
Detroit selected Austin Bryant in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. The defensive end played on a dominant Clemson defense that took the college football world by storm, and the Lions were hoping to bring some of that winning pedigree to Ford Field.
An injury derailed Bryant’s career, though. He missed almost the entirety of his rookie year and did not feature for the team until November. The defender ended up only playing four games for the Lions last year and did not impress much.
The young player is still on the team, but he may already be fighting for a roster spot. Barring an impressive camp or preseason Bryant will likely be a special teamer in the upcoming season. Only a year in, the fourth-round pick is already looking like it is not going anywhere
Games played: 4 for Lions (4 in NFL)
Currently: With the Lions
28. P.J. Johnson
2019 seventh-round pick, 229th overall — Defensive Tackle — Arizona
P.J. Johnson was selected in the seventh round with a chance to play with under Damon Harrison Sr.—a player who has reached the pinnacle as to what he can do in the NFL. As a big-bodied, run-stuffing tackle, the chance to play with Harrison could have been a huge opportunity for him.
Johnson did not make the 53-man roster in Detroit, though. As a seventh round selection, there really was not much the Lions could have expected out of him, and getting no return on a seventh round selection really does not matter long term.
The defensive tackle ended up on the Los Angeles Chargers practice squad late last season, and currently features on their 90-man offseason roster.
Games played: 0 for Lions (0 in NFL)
Currently: With Los Angeles Chargers, member of Chargers practice squad in 2019
27. Pat O’Connor
2017 seventh-round pick, 250th overall — Defensive End — Eastern Michigan
Pat O’Connor was drafted out of nearby Eastern Michigan in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. While he was certainly a hometown favorite on the roster bubble, the defensive end failed to make the 53-man roster and never played for the Lions.
Similar to Johnson, it is hard to fault the pick much. Seventh round picks are not really expected to ever do anything in the league, so it is not like the pick was a particular failure or anything.
O’Connor has since managed to carve out a space for himself on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster and featured for them in 2019.
Games Played: 0 for Lions (11 in NFL)
Currently: With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, played in eight games for the team last season
26. Antwione Williams
2016 fifth-round pick, 169th overall — Linebacker — Georgia Southern
Antwione Williams arrived as a fifth-round pick in 2016, with the Lions hoping he could add some much needed depth and talent to a struggling unit. Detroit’s linebackers were among the worst in the league at this point, and they remained so in 2016 despite Williams’ arrival.
The linebacker played in 14 games for the Lions in his rookie year—even starting in three of them. He notched 27 combined tackles in those games, but clearly did not show enough. The Lions released him the following offseason as they renovated their linebacker room.
He would bounce around the NFL for a bit. Signing with the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers at points over the past four years. He never stuck anywhere, though, and never even featured for any of them in a game. After being cut by the Panthers early in 2019, he never again signed with a team. It seems that his time in the NFL is likely over.
Games played: 14 for Lions (14 in NFL)
Currently: Out of NFL