Lions’ Quinn won’t pass on player over marijuana

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
The Dolphins took Laremy Tunsil with the No. 31 pick.

Allen Park — The Lions nearly had a chance to take the best offensive tackle in the draft as former Ole Miss standout Laremy Tunsil unexpectedly fell to No. 13.

Had Tunsil still been on the board at No. 16, Lions general manager Bob Quinn said the team would’ve considered selecting him. But the Lions ended up with former Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker.

Tunsil’s fall followed a stunning video posted on his Twitter feed just before the draft started Thursday night that showed him smoking out of a bong with a gasmask. But Quinn said smoking marijuana isn’t cause for the Lions to remove players from their draft board.

“I think you got to take everything into consideration,” he said Thursday night. “If we took players off the board because they smoked pot in college, or marijuana, like half the board would be gone. Realistically, that’s the day and age we live in, and you’ve just got to evaluate the risk and reward of the player.”

Instead, the Lions ended up with Decker, who was a captain for the Buckeyes in 2015 and is regarded as a clean prospect off the field. Of course, a clean player could lead to the assumption that the Lions played it safe Thursday night, and Quinn admitted that sometimes it’s best to avoid risk.

Ohio State OT Taylor Decker is Lions’ pick

“I think at certain times during my reign here, there might be a certain time to take a risk, but I think the first couple years, I think I’d rather be safe than sorry,” he said.

One risky player the Lions could’ve considered was former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. Beyond acknowledging that Jack has a knee issue, Quinn declined to provide much of an evaluation of Jack, who had been projected to go in the top 10 before falling out of the first round.

“At the end of the day, it wasn’t a hard pick,” Quinn said of Decker. “It was a guy that we had talked about at length, and we really felt good about the pick.”