Allen Park — The first pick of Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s tenure was an easy choice, he explained Thursday, because the team had done a lot of research on former Ohio State offensive tackle, the eventual 16th overall pick.
But, as the Lions’ first-round selection approached, Quinn was understandably anxious. And he found a unique way to calm his nerves.
“I swung a baseball bat,” he said. “I got a baseball bat as a gift a couple days ago, and I kind of had that in my hand during the draft and kind of took my fidgety hands and spent the time that way.”
Quinn grew up playing baseball, so the non-football sports equipment makes sense. He wouldn’t say which friend gave him the wooden bat, but a video posted by the team website showed him playing around with it in the team’s draft room.
“It’s definitely a little more nerve-racking when you’re leading up to your pick,” Quinn said of his first first round as GM after 16 years in New England’s personnel department. “You’re sitting there hoping and hoping a guy’s there; you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen the picks before you. In years past, you kind of sit back and you’re a part of it, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t stop with you. And this year, I felt very prepared.”
Quinn thanked Lions coaches and members of the personnel department for helping prepare him for all scenarios. But, considering the Lions were happy with their pick Thursday, there’s a good chance the bat stays in the draft room Friday and Saturday.