GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We’re less than a week from the start of the NFL Draft and with nothing else on the sports docket, expect the draft to dominate the headlines.
Friday, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn held his annual pre-draft press conference.
But with COVID-19 restrictions, he did it on a Zoom video conference call. Quinn sat in front of his computer and answered questions for about an hour.
“It’s different times, but we’re adjusting,” Quinn said.
The Lions own the third pick in next Thursday’s draft and Quinn says he’s open to a trade, but only if he’s confident he’ll still be able to nab a player on the first tier of his draft board.
“I say this all the time. It takes two teams to do a trade. So, when you are trading back, if you trade back after 10 or 11, you have to know the ramifications. You’re going to get a different player,” Quinn said.
The consensus among those who put out mock drafts is they’ll take Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, even though history shows teams rarely take a guy at that position that early.
“I’m not sure why teams have shied away. I really don’t. It’s a position that is critical and high value in the league,” Quinn said.
After trading Darius Slay, the Lions have a big need for a cornerback.
It was a somewhat acrimonious parting, but Quinn said he had a good conversation with Slay afterward.
“And just thought it was the best thing for the team. Just with the parameters of what was going on with his contract and some of the future needs were from his end of things,” Quinn said. “We thought the best thing was to move that and get the draft compensation. And we went out in free agency and picked up a couple of corners.”
Slay was one of the players that took a parting shot at head coach Matt Patricia after parting ways with the Lions.
Quinn says it’s not a concern.
“You can go ask anybody in the locker room what they think of coach and how he runs the team and they are 100% behind him. You can’t make everybody happy in this business,” Quinn said.
Another topic during the call was the status of quarterback Matt Stafford. He missed the last eight games with a back injury.
“I know he’s working out and health-wise he is good to go. If we started spring practice, he’d be a full participant,” Quinn said.
Quinn also dished out high praise for the Lions information technology team. This draft will take place entirely online. His war room is in his home office. And it is loaded with technology.