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Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn’s top-5 best draft picks

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A look at the biggest success stories from Bob Quinn’s draft history.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

We have finally reached the top. Today we take a look at the best five draft picks that Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made since he took over the role in 2016.

Just like the previous iterations of the list, value plays a huge role in the evaluation as well.

Previously:

5. Frank Ragnow

2018 first-round pick, 20th overall — Arkansas — Center

NFL: SEP 22 Lions at Eagles

The Detroit Lions made a surprise choice to kick off the 2018 draft. While many expected them to address the defensive side of the ball, especially with new defensive-minded coach Matt Patricia in town, they instead took a chance on Frank Ragnow out of Arkansas, hoping he could bolster the interior offensive line for years to come.

Ragnow proved to be worthy of his draft status. He was great year one playing at guard, and then moved inside to his more natural center position in his sophomore year. He was also a stud in year 2, looking like a seasoned veteran at the position instead of someone playing there for the first time in his professional career.

Detroit still has Ragnow on a rookie contract for two more years, but he is eligible for an extensions next season. It will be interesting to see how that plays out for them, though. Players of Ragnow’s caliber at interior offensive lineman are not easy to find, so it feels like extending him next year is a no-brainer. On the other hand, it seems like the Lions may not value the position much seeing what happened another player on this list.

For now, though, Ragnow is a guaranteed starter and is likely the best player Detroit has on the offensive line.

Games played: 31 for Lions (31 in NFL)
Currently: With Lions, lock to start in 2020

4. Joe Dahl

2016 fifth-round pick, 151st overall — Washington State — Guard

Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Joe Dahl is certainly a late bloomer, but he finally made an impact for the team in 2019. After being a depth guy for the first three years of his Detroit Lions career, he took over as a full-time starter in 2019. He won what proved to be the mess of a camp battle in 2019 and started 13 games. Now he looks to start once again in 2020.

Dahl was the second interior offensive lineman the team selected in 2016 but was the only one of the two to get a second contract (don’t worry, we’re gonna talk about that later). While he may not be among the league’s better guards, he is, at least, a playable starter who can take snaps at the position that the team needs most.

It looks like Dahl will be a bridge for the Lions as they hope either Jonah Jackson or Logan Stenberg develop into future starters, and he proves to be a cheap starter at what is starting to become a premium position.

Games played: 35 for Lions (35 in NFL)
Currently: With Lions, likely to start in 2020

3. Da’Shawn Hand

2018 fourth-round pick, 114th overall — Alabama — Defensive tackle

NFL: OCT 07 Packers at Lions Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quinn went to the usually golden goose of Alabama defensive linemen in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but Da’Shawn Hand is different as a prospect than many other Crimson Tide defenders often are. Hand was a five-star recruit out of Northern Virginia that was regarded to be among the best of his high school class. Many Lions were even familiar with him already, as he was heavily recruited by the hometown Michigan Wolverines.

Hand chose Bama, though, and then disappeared. He was incredibly unproductive in college for someone with his size and athleticism. Quinn and the Lions took a chance on his raw talent in the fourth round, and it has paid off thus far.

The defensive tackle has been a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing Lions defensive front. He notched three sacks and 27 combined tackles in 13 games in his rookie year, primarily playing at 3-tech. Hand was the only player up front that could regularly generate a pass rush.

An injury suffered early in training camp cost him a large portion of the 2019 season. Hand only played two games, and while he looked great in those games, it is hard to judge a season based on only two games.

If I was making this list before the 2019 season, Hand would come in at No. 1, but now that he has effectively missed a year of his rookie contract, his value has taken a hit. Still, though, if he returns from the injury at full health, then he may be the team’s best defensive lineman.

Games played: 16 for Lions (16 for NFL)
Currently: With Lions, likely to start in 2020

2.Graham Glasgow

2016 third-round pick, 95th overall — Michigan — Guard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Graham Glasgow is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the league. He is versatile—having started at both center and guard for the Lions over his four years in Detroit—and has looked like a stud at both interior positions.

Glasgow was selected on the second fay of the 2016 draft. Expectations were not too high for him Year 1 as a third-round pick, but he quickly usurped the starting role. In 2018, he made the move from guard to center in 2018 to replace Travis Swanson and allow Ragnow time to develop. In 2019, he moved back to guard and seemingly didn’t miss a step.

Detroit seems to have a different opinion of Glasgow, though. In 2019, they would often rotate him out of the game for inferior backups, setting the team back for unknown reasons. The guard’s rookie contract ended in 2020, and the Lions chose to pass on re-signing him, allowing the guard to sign a four-year deal worth $44 million with the Denver Broncos.

While his career with the Lions may not have lasted as long as one would hope, Quinn certainly nailed this third-round selection.

Games played: 62 for Lions (62 in NFL)
Currently: With Denver Broncos, lock to start in 2020

1. Kenny Golladay

2017 third-round pick, 97th overall — Northern Illinois — Wide receiver

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

There was a slight feeling of emptiness to the Lions in 2016. Calvin Johnson Jr. had retired after the 2015 season and while free agent signings Anquan Boldin and Marvin Jones Jr. proved to be good signings, Matthew Stafford did not have a gigantic, oversized, gumby-esque player to throw to for the first time in his career.

Enter Kenny Golladay.

Detroit took a chance on a relatively unknown wide receiver out of Northern Illinois on Day 2 of the 2017 draft. Some scratched their head at the move, unsure with how to feel about it. A few months later, Golladay was quick to become a fan favorite, catching two touchdowns—including a late deep bomb to seal the deal—in a Week 1 victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

The first two seasons of Golladay’s career was marred with inconsistency. One week he would show flashes of greatness, then the next he would disappear. In 2019, he truly broke out, though.

Golladay caught 65 passes for a career high 1,190 yards and led the league with 11 touchdowns in 2019—and that was with Jeff Driskel or David Blough at quarterback for the back half of the season. He is clearly a true No. 1 receiver, and if he continues to grow, he may be a contender to receive All-Pro accolades in the near future.

Games played: 42 for Lions (42 in NFL)
Currently: With Lions, lock to start in 2020