Quinn’s draft approach: ‘The bigger, the better’

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn said one of his goals going into the NFL draft was to add big players.

Allen Park — It seems like one of the simplest philosophies in football, and Bob Quinn now has evidence that he believes in it.

“I’d say, offensive line and defensive line, the bigger, the better,” he said.

Quinn gave that response to a question about third-round center Graham Glasgow (6-foot-6, 307 pounds) and fifth-round offensive guard/tackle Joe Dahl (6-4, 304). But it fits for first round offensive tackle Taylor Decker (6-7, 310), second round defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (6-4, 307), and sixth-round defensive end Anthony Zettel (6-4, 277).

And it could even apply to 6-2, 217-pound safety Miles Killebrew, the fourth-round pick, and 6-2, 226-pound running back Dwayne Washington.

With most of the picks, the Lions didn’t sacrifice athleticism for size, and ultimately, being big, fast and physical is a good indicator for success in the NFL. Quinn explained that he thinks teams win in the trenches after spending his first three picks on linemen, but after saying he might look for skill position guys on Day 3, the Lions still added two more linemen.

The most linemen, defensive and offensive, ex-GM Martin Mayhew took in a draft was three — 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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The last time the Lions took five linemen in a draft was in 1989 when there were 12 rounds as opposed to seven the league has had since 1994.

Versatility is something teams obviously look for in players and something Quinn mentioned he’d search when the Lions hired him. Decker played both tackle spots, Glasgow played center and guard, Dahl played guard and tackle, and Zettel has played inside and outside.

Time will tell, obviously, if the Lions made the right call with their trench players when passing on some talented skill-position guys. But considering the need to be more physical than the team was a year ago, Quinn accomplished at least one thing he wanted in his first draft.

“Absolutely, that was one of my goals going into the draft and I felt like there was a lot of players at different levels of the draft that we could do that,” Quinn said of adding big players. “So, it was a goal of mine, it was a goal of coach (Jim) Caldwell’s, and I think we followed through on that.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @jkatzenstein

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