Bob Quinn defends Tabor pick, thinks Lions are in good position

Jan 2, 2017; Tampa , FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Teez Tabor (31) talks with linebacker Jarrad Davis (40) and linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) during a timeout in the second quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions addressed needs on the defensive side of the ball in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. While the Detroit defense certainly could use some improvements, many fans and analysts were surprised when the Lions selected Teez Tabor from the University of Florida in Round 2.

To say that Tabor has a checkered past is a bit of an understatement. During his college years, Tabor received a citation for marijuana possession. The defensive back was also suspended from the Gators for one game because of fighting during practice. Finally, he demonstrated either supreme confidence or genuine naiveté with this quote at the NFL Combine:

“I feel like I’m the best overall player in the draft, not just the best cornerback.”

Granted, you want a player to be confident, but, that is surprising given his performance at the recent combine.

According to the Detroit News, Tabor ran an official time of 4.62 in the 40-yard dash. Unofficially, it was 4.75. Official or not, neither of those times are considered stellar.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn is not worried about Tabor’s past or the combine numbers. He defended his pick of Tabor and feels good about the Detroit draft so far:

“I probably watched more tape on him than any prospect I can ever remember watching film on because everyone said he ran really slow and I said, ‘OK, well the games I watched, I didn’t see him getting run by.”

“Timed speed is what it is,” Quinn said. “I take game speed as a far more important gauge than timed speed.”

Apparently, Quinn has been interested in Tabor for quite some time.

Quinn summed up his thoughts on Tabor and the position of the cornerback to the Free Press as well:

“You have to be an instinctive player and we use the term reactionary athleticism,” Quinn said. “When you’re playing defense, you’re reacting to what the offensive player is doing. And it’s one of the hardest positions to play in sports. So if you don’t have really good instincts and really good feel and anticipation, it doesn’t matter if you’re 4.2 or 4.9. If you don’t have those anticipation, instincts, awareness, route recognition, all those things, I think I put those higher up than how fast the guy ran at the combine.”

There are plenty of opinions and skeptics out there regarding the Lions draft thus far. However, count Bob Quinn as one of the people remaining confident about the Lions’ draft choices so far this year. He and Tabor may be the most confident members of the Detroit Lions franchise at the moment.

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