The good, bad and questionable from Bob Quinn's first year as Lions GM

<!—->Bob Quinn’s first draft class looks like a success but the jury is still out on his first round of free-agent signings. AP Photo/Duane BurlesonALLEN PARK, Mich. — Revamping the Lions was always going to be a long process for GM Bob Quinn, who was hired on Jan. 11, 2016 — one year ago today.Detroit plucked Quinn from the Patriots to bring a combination of successful philosophies from New England and some of his own ideas to a Lions franchise with no Super Bowl appearances and one playoff win since the AFL-NFL merger.As the Lions continue their search for a title or even an elusive playoff win, Quinn has made progress. He overhauled the front office. He changed the organization’s free-agency and draft strategies. He decided — twice — to retain head coach Jim Caldwell.“We’ve had a really good working relationship,” Caldwell said. “It’s well organized, they do things extremely well in the front office and you know, our relationship has been very good in that regard, so I would anticipate that we’ll still be able to work well together and you know, look forward to it.”He started revamping Detroit’s roster. When he was hired, the depth was poor and he had to strengthen it. He did enough to give Caldwell a roster he went 9-7 with, including a playoff berth and another first-round exit — an NFL-record ninth-straight postseason loss.But where did Quinn thrive in Year 1? Where did things falter?THE GOODQuinn’s first draft: It’s tough to grade a draft after one season — three years later is a fair barometer — but so far, so good. His top three draft picks all started at least five games and were productive. Left tackle Taylor Decker (No. 16 overall) and interior lineman Graham Glasgow (No. 95) could solidify the offensive line. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (No. 46) should become a full-time starter next season as he grasps Detroit’s aggressive scheme. Three other picks — safety Miles Killebrew (No. 111), defensive lineman Anthony Zettel (No. 202) and running back Dwayne Washington (No. 236) — had roles as rookies which should grow moving forward. A project pick, offensive lineman Joe Dahl (No. 151) could end up being a starter in 2017. Linebacker Antwione Williams (No. 169) flashed here and there but is still developing. Quarterback Jake Rudock (No. 191), who was drafted as a project, should compete for the No. 2 job next season. Long-snapper Jimmy Landes (No. 210) might end up unseating Don Muhlbach in 2017. It’s a good class that could rival the best work of his predecessor, Martin Mayhew.Building depth: The improved depth was evident on special teams, where the Lions had one of the better units in the league. Johnson Bademosi, not the strongest cornerback signing, brought another level to special teams. While he only had four stops, he was consistently a part of why Sam Martin had one of the best punting seasons in league history. Safeties Rafael Bush and Tavon Wilson gave the Lions two players with versatility (defense and special teams) while building secondary depth. Detroit had a much deeper team from the top of the roster to the practice squad. Expect this to continue because depth-building is typically a multiyear process.Decisiveness: Quinn didn’t keep players on the roster just because they were his signings and had no problem making the difficult move if it was necessary. That’s important for an organization that often seemed to hang onto players a year or two too long.THE MIXED REVIEWS/QUESTIONSFree-agency acquisitions: The safeties Quinn added — Killebrew, Bush and Wilson — were a positive. So was his reconstruction of Detroit’s receiving corps. Marvin Jones may have been down on his season, but he still had a career-high in yards (930) and has a better understanding now of what it takes to be a No. 1 receiver. Andre Roberts was a good fourth receiver and returner and Anquan Boldin was a reliable slot receiver. But many mid-level free-agent additions didn’t pan out. Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, running back Stevan Ridley and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley were all gone before training camp ended. Trading Kerley might have been a mistake considering he had 64 catches for 667 yards and three touchdowns in San Francisco — some of the best numbers of his career. But it was a logical move because of the Boldin signing. Quinn didn’t sign a true difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball, something he could have used.Jim Caldwell: Keeping Caldwell made sense since he took the Lions to the postseason. But with four straight losses to end the season, there are still questions about his long-term viability as Detroit’s head coach. The longer Quinn keeps Caldwell, the more he becomes tied to the coach.Contracts: He’s done well so far, extending Martin, Theo Riddick and Darius Slay — critical pieces for the future of the franchise. He also introduced more incentive-laden contracts, which should be better motivators. But he hasn’t had to handle a truly big contract yet, and those are coming with quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. How those deals are handled could be a gauge for his progress as a GM.THE BADGoing back on his edict: At his introductory news conference, Quinn said he had zero tolerance for gun issues and domestic violence. Half of that edict was gone by the end of training camp after he signed (and later released) tight end Andrew Quarless, who was brought on board despite a July 2015 charge for firing a gun in public. Quinn didn’t take questions on Quarless’ signing and released a statement instead — leaving Caldwell to answer media queries — which was not the best look.
Source: Nfl News