Ranking Bob Quinn's Worst Draft Selections

John Maakaron

With general manager Bob Quinn at the helm, the Lions seem to have placed more importance on character than pure talent when deciding on who to select in the draft.  

Despite criticisms that his selections are too conservative, Quinn has continued to select players that aren't projected to be top-flight NFL contributors. 

A winning team cannot be constructed with 53 role players. 

Since 2016, Quinn has drafted 34 players, and only one has made a Pro Bowl. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay secured a Pro Bowl appearance following a stellar 2019 season.

While Golladay and center Frank Ragnow have become productive players, there have been too many selections that simply haven't panned out. 

Let's take a look at a list of players Quinn selected that did not pan out in Detroit:

6.) DE Pat O'Connor

Known for his work ethic, O'Connor recorded 166 total tackles and 20 sacks for Eastern Michigan. 

Detroit selected O'Connor in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft, but did not make the roster out of training camp.

5.) QB Brad Kaaya

Another in a long list of quarterbacks brought in to backup Matthew Stafford that didn't pan out. 

Kaaya had two stints in Detroit, in 2017, after being drafted by the Lions in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL draft. Little has been heard from Kaaya since being signed by the Colts from Detroit's practice squad.

4.) LS Jimmy Landes

Many won't soon forget Quinn selecting a long snapper in the 2016 NFL draft. 

Landes was selected in the sixth round, but needed shoulder surgery after an erratic preseason his rookie season with Detroit. Don Muhlbach has remained the Lions' long snapper. 

3.) TE Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts was a highly productive player while at Toledo. He scored 16 touchdowns his senior season, and was eventually selected by the Lions in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.

In two seasons in Detroit, he was inconsistent, and failed to live up to expectations. 

2.) LB Jarrad Davis

Davis has frequently been the subject of heavy scrutiny among supporters of the Lions. Coaches, though, have continued to publicly support Davis. 

Davis was among the lowest-graded linebackers, per Pro Football Focus. And his plethora of missed tackles must frustrate all involved when reviewing film. 

1.) CB Teez Tabor

The player Quinn reportedly scouted the most during his tenure in Detroit. Tabor struggled mightily and was released in 2019. 

Tabor's speed was heavily criticized pre-draft, and many wondered why Quinn gambled by selecting him in the second-round of the 2017 draft.  


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Comments (6)
No. 1-6

One of my 50+ hockey/sports theories like High danger area ( Hockey MSM called it Homeplate) is called Belichek and Me.

Belichek & Me: Championship rosters have strong base play position players.
So like Belichek you seek out the highest non mistake rate baseline play in set schemes.
Teammates will trust players who are where they need to be, it makes job easier in a scheme. This pairs with another theory.

False eye affect: people will let single dramatic plays/stat define a players performance. This is a binary yes/no thought process.
Players have one dramatic stat/image that sticks. When you look at their per snap/per shift/per min performance in a scheme they may be elite.

Hockey fans thought S. Souray was terrible cause he had dramatic blow-outs resulting in goals. But his goal mistake per 100 shift rates were some of the best in the league as a dman.

J. Davis has a tackle missed rate. But is mgmt happy with him being in the correct position in a scheme and being own elite Forward contact LB. top 32 LB tackles, Strong IDL level TotPress 20-30.

They have 2 LB who can be Elite FWD contact LB, with greater weight 250+ and Coverage results of Top safeties.
J. Collins, Tavai.

I only look at first 5 rd of picks. When measuring a draft.

It is fun to False eye and look at the worst.
What is the overall value relative to Scheme.


-J. Davis, an Elite Forward Contact Lb, (as I showed one of 7 LB in decade) may go next year.

  • Quinn has sought top Forward contact LB who can cover Safety level target rates.

  • J. Davis showed top coverage LB skill in SEC. QB’s ratings when davis is in coverage has been Top 5 QB rate (106.0+)

  • Tavai results per snap rates with Standup LB Starter snaps would be
    In elite Fwd Contact LB (100, 10, 5, 10) range.
    110 TKL, 12 TFL, 4.5 SK, 7 QB hits, 9 Press, 20.5 Tot Press, 2FF.
    His coverage rates per snap results with stater snaps is top Safety.
    52 targets, 5 pass defended, 2INT, QB have worse than #32 Starter QB ratings. (78.4)

  • Then Quinn brings in J. Collins 100+ TKL, 30 total press, 52 targets, below starter QB rating (78.4) coverage skills.

  • Tavai and Collins:
    Top LB Tackles, pressures level of Top IDL,
    Coverage Like top DB on short Intermediate routes,
    We have 2 - 250+ lb Elite Box Safeties.
    Who needs I. Simmons




-History Tells us about what leads to success!
-MSM and PFF has forgotten what an elite fwd contact Standup LB is.
Tackles for loss;
QB contacts = (Sacks + QBHits);
Total Presures = (QB contacts + Pressures)

  • They are an elite Tackling Machine Hybrid LB that used to get All pro and Pro bowl status.
    Top 32 Combined TKL LB:( approx 100+)
    Top IDL level pressure rates:(15+ QB contacts)(20-30 Total Press)
    -Looking at LB in the past decade with:
    100 Comb TKL; 10 TFL; 5 sK; 10 QB Hits:
    Demario Davis 2018, 2017
    J. Davis 2017
    K. Dansby 2013
    L. David 2012
    L. Timmons 2012
    D. Washington 2012, Pro Bowl
    J. Harrison 2010, All pro, Pro bowl
    J. Davis fits a role real well.

Don't forget Tavai. A total reach, so slow, can't cover, can't shed blockers.


Tie - Tabor & Davis are worst