Signs GM Bob Quinn Has Learned from Drafting Aaron Hernandez

John Maakaron

This week, millions have been watching the new Netflix docuseries on former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. 

It is a cautionary tale of a player with a troublesome past that was leading a double life. 

In the end, Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell in 2017, just days after being acquitted of a double homicide that took place in Boston in 2012. His death was ruled a suicide.

Current Lions general manager Bob Quinn was the assistant director of pro personnel when the Patriots took Hernandez in the 2010 draft.

When Quinn was hired in Detroit, he was asked what the standards would be in terms of player scouting and acquisition. 

"That’s definitely something that's going to be taken into account on every draft pick, every free-agent signing that we make," Quinn said when he was introduced to the media after being hired. 

He continued, "The two things that are zero tolerance are domestic violence and dangerous weapons. Those are the two things I’m not going to stand for (and) don’t believe in. That’s how I feel."

Back in 2017 at Quinn's annual pre-draft press conference, he discussed further the challenges of evaluating players and the sheer amount of time that is spent deciding who to bring in to the organization. 

"I think it’s a case-by-case thing. You can’t clump all character or all physical risks the same. You’ve got to take each individual player and prospect and do your due diligence in terms of how you think that player is going to fit on the field, and you’ve got to kind of really evaluate how the fit's going to be off the field. It’s a really hard situation," Quinn said.

He added, "The off-the-field things that a number of prospects have every year, you have to evaluate it, and make the best decision you think for your football team. It’s something we spend a lot of time on.”

For the most part, the Lions under Quinn have avoided bringing in free agents with off-the-field issues like wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Kareem Hunt. 

Quinn & Co. are attempting to draft and bring in players that are not only model citizens on the field, but off the field as well. 

So far, the lessons learned from the Patriots' selection of Hernandez appear to have been applied by Quinn in his time in Motown. 

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