Roger Goodell calls Bob Quinn ‘maybe the best general manager’ in the NFL

NFL: Combine
Mar 1, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was recently touring Ford Field in Detroit as part of an NFL fan forum. The commissioner had plenty to say about the future of the Detroit Lions and the NFL as whole but one comment has caused plenty of heads to turn: Goodell believes the Lions might have the best general manager in the business.

Goodell’s praise didn’t end at Quinn. The commissioner also had high remarks for team president Rod Wood, owner Martha Ford, and head coach Jim Caldwell. Goodell praised the leaders within the organization for their tireless efforts to “make the Lions a better franchise.”

“He (Rod Wood) doesn’t directly affect the field,” Goodell continued, “but he went and hired the best possible people, he hired maybe the best general manager out there.”

That’s the comment that is causing fans to do a double-take. Goodell couldn’t have possibly meant Bob Quinn was the best general manager in the NFL, right? Maybe he meant Quinn was the best GM available for hire during the Lions search, maybe he was just politicking like NFL executives do, truthfully I don’t know.

What I do know however is that if you take the comments at face value for what they appear to be, Goodell is off-base. Not saying Quinn hasn’t done a fine job, but he’s had his share of head-scratching moments. In the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Quinn long-snapper Jimmy Landes out of Baylor. What’s to question about that you may ask? In his first year as general manager, Quinn made Landes one of just four long-snappers ever to be drafted in the history of the NFL. Quinn also selected cornerback Teez Tabor in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, in a move that was universally panned as a reach by “draft gurus” and analysts across every NFL outlet.

Quinn also signed on right tackle Rick Wagner to the tune of $47.5 million over the course of the next five years. While there was a tremendous need for a new right tackle, many thought Quinn overpaid for Wagner’s services.

To be fair, Quinn hasn’t even been manning this ship for two full seasons yet. It seems silly to criticize moves, especially draft picks, so early in his tenure, but no general manager is beyond second-guessing.

The truth is most Lions fans you talk to are going to be happy with Quinn. I’m not sure you would find any that call him the best in the league, but most are optimistic about the future of the franchise under him.

Where would you rank Quinn among top NFL GMs right now?