Lions GM Bob Quinn would consider drafting QB at No. 8

Could the Detroit Lions be in play for the likes of Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft?

During a Q&A with Lions season ticket holders, general manager Bob Quinn didn't rule out taking an eventual heir to Matthew Stafford high in the draft.

"We'll consider any position in the draft at any point in time, whether it's the eighth overall pick or we have multiple picks later in the draft," Quinn said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN. "We're in a position now with the eighth overall pick that the whole draft board is really wide open to us. We're not going to really eliminate any prospects.

"In previous years, at least my last couple years here, we've drafted anywhere from 16 to 22 I believe. It's a little bit different for us this year. There's a few more players that are going to be available and if there's a quarterback out there that we deem could help us this year or in the future, we'll never close the door on that."

Quinn stating he'll "consider any position" is the GM-iest speak possible. Stafford isn't going anywhere in 2019. The quarterback is due $19 million guaranteed this upcoming season with a $29.5 million salary cap hit. If he's on the roster on the sixth day of the new league year, $6 million of his 2020 salary becomes guaranteed.

Stafford will be the Lions quarterback for another season. Perhaps after that Detroit could bite the bullet and swallow a $20 million dead money cap hit to save $11.5 million and wash their hands of Stafford in 2020. Considering such a move would invite speculation that Detroit could pull a Kansas City and draft the heir while the incumbent was still on the roster.

Still, it'd be a major surprise if the Lions drafted their Stafford successor three years before it becomes financially viable to move on from the veteran. Not only is Stafford still just 31 years old, the Lions have too many holes to spend a top-10 pick on a player who might not get off the sidelines. Also, there is the added factor that Stafford was Quinn's first major extension as a GM. To move on two years later would be admitting a colossal error to ownership.

One advantage of finding good first-year quarterbacks is they offer financial flexibility elsewhere. Stafford's massive contract would negate that advantage for at least two years of the rookie's contract.

Outside Quinn and coach Matt Patricia sharing a glass of Love Potion No. 9 and falling into that can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of infatuation with a QB, don't expect a signal-caller tapped early this year.

It's much more likely that the Lions will -- and should -- scour the later rounds of the draft for a potential backup quarterback to groom, a move they eschewed last season in favor of aged veteran Matt Cassel.

The Lions brass reiterated their support for Stafford on Monday night. They'll likely continue to do so for at least the next two seasons.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content