The Lions haven’t drafted a quarterback since they took Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick of the 2009 draft, but their new General Manager hinted at the end of that streak recently.
Bob Quinn worked for the Patriots before being hired in Detroit, so he was on hand when the Patriots used relatively early picks on Kevin O’Connell, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo to back up Tom Brady. He was also hired in 2000, which was the same year that the Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round and a year before Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in a franchise-shifting move.
Quinn suggested the same might be in store for the Lions in this year’s draft.
“I think it’s really good football business to acquire a young quarterback every year or every other year,” Quinn said, via Dave Birkett of 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. So if you can add a young quarterback every year or every other year to your roster, it’s good football business in my mind. So you have time to develop them, either on the practice squad or as a backup, before eventually them having to play in a game.”
The Lions appear to be looking at late-round prospects as opposed to making a second-day splash a la Garoppolo and Dan Orlovsky is back to serve as the No. 2 behind Stafford. Birkett reports Jake Rudock of Michigan (as mentioned, having a late-rounder from Ann Arbor on hand to step in for an injured first overall pick worked out for the Patriots), Kevin Hogan of Stanford and Blake Frohnapfel of UMass have popped up on the radar as possible additions to the depth chart.