New Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn spent 16 seasons with a New England Patriots team that has been among the best in the NFL when it comes to strategizing for the draft.
Among the things New England has done better than most teams is stockpiling young quarterback talent behind Tom Brady. This has led to the organization to being able to trade these youngs asset for draft picks in the past.
It’s the idea that while starter-level quarterbacks are few and far between in today’s NFL, already possessing one of that ilk shouldn’t preclude a team from looking quarterback in the draft.
Quinn has now apparently taken that philosophy with him to Detroit:
“I think it’s really good football business to acquire a young quarterback every year or every other year,” Quinn said, via the Detroit Free Press. “There’s such a value in the position and nowadays in college football there’s a lot of spread offenses, which means it’s a lot different than pro football. So it takes these young quarterbacks time to develop.”
For the Lions, this just makes practical sense.
While Matthew Stafford has put up some absurd numbers during his Lions career, that has not translated to team-wide success. Detroit boasts a 42-51 record in Stafford’s six-plus seasons as the starting quarterback and is coming off a seven-win campaign.
In fact, Detroit has finished with a winning record just twice in Stafford’s tenure.
Even if Detroit is intent on going with a quarterback that’s more relevant from a fantasy football perspective than he is in the real football world, it’s going to need to add a young arm behind him. Dan Orlovsky remains the Lions’ only backup quarterback at this point in the offseason.
It’s also practical for the Lions to consider adding a young quarterback in the draft. As valued as this position is around the NFL, it really would be akin to adding a valuable draft pick down the road.
This is to say, Detroit can groom said quarterback until it’s apparent he’s ready to play, at which point it can either move Stafford or trade the unnamed youngster for future assets.